Me and the Killer Bees

Because We ARE….The Killer Bees!

My wife chose a good time to be out of town.  Tuesday, (yesterday as I’m writing this), we came close to a record high here in the Phoenix area – 119.  It was so hot that even the bees decided to take a swim in our pool.
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Surprise! You’re 50!

Rest in Peace, You're Officially Old

           Rest in Peace, You’re Officially Old

Just this past weekend, (as I am writing this story), I finished up driving our little red sports car from Sacramento to Phoenix.  The car is a 2000 Mazda Miata with still under 30,000 miles on it.  Believe it or not, it even still smells like a new car inside.  I had burned one of my favorite James Lee Burke audiobooks onto cd and this really helped to keep me alert during the 14 hour drive.  For extra company, I had purchased some D cell batteries for my Sirius Sportster ‘boombox’.  While I was down in Phoenix, I did get an opportunity to take in a round of golf.  I hooked up with a very nice Canadian couple for the round.  As I was trying to add to our conversation topics, I was reminded of one of only two of my visits to Canada.

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California’s Gold – Huell Howser Wasn’t Kidding

"Golly!"

“Golly!”

Cheeseburger in Paradise – Our St Barthélemy Vacation, Part 2

Even the landing is an adventure

    Even the landing is an adventure

Continued from Part 1, last week

Un autre avion?

Ok, at least they understood that.  Hopefully I didn’t just ask them where the aviary was.  They looked at me and just sort of shrugged their shoulders in a ‘who knows’ sort of fashion.  There was no way to reach her.  I just had to sit and fret.  Finally, around six, the sun looked like it would soon be setting.  This really worried me because there are no lights at the St Bart’s airport – it shuts down when the sun goes down.

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Cheeseburger in Paradise – Our St Barthélemy Vacation, Part 1

Our island getaway

                       Our island getaway

We have an upcoming wedding anniversary, our 38th!  Wow, add to that the years we dated before marriage and that makes more than 41 years together.  Why is she not tired of me yet?  You readers who have checked in with me before know that I’m a big fan of finding coincidences in life – they make life more interesting.  For this anniversary we are going to take a weekend trip with another couple who celebrate their wedding only 5 days away from ours.  Having close wedding dates is not the only coincidence though.

Sasha – A Pet Owner’s Love Story

Beautiful inside and out

Beautiful inside and out

Our beloved pet has developed serious issues with her bile ducts and as such, is not getting all she needs from her liver.  We know we’re not going to have her company for as long as we’d like.  I have always planned on writing a ‘celebrate Sasha’ story and so I decided to write it before she passes….just in case she sneaks onto the Internet to read my blog – this one’s for you Sasha, we love you!  Continue reading

Yet Another Shocking Experience

You're Welcome...

You’re Welcome…

I thought I’d write another more recent story about growing up, learning lessons.

As a very young child, I have a very vague memory of one of our cats getting shocked somehow.  I think it was playing with a thin cord from a lamp or a vacuum cleaner, bit through it and zap!  The cat lived but was a little raggedy looking around the face for a couple of weeks as it had burnt whiskers.  It was lucky to be alive and apparently learned its lesson as it never again played with electrical cords.  If a monkey had been watching this occur, I have no doubt that it would have learned from the episode and stayed very clear of all lamp and appliance cords.  We humans are supposed to be intelligent, at least smarter than cats – perhaps not.   Continue reading

Laughter, Medicine for Life – Gags at P&G

The Dolly Parton Bldgs (aka P&G HQ)

The Dolly Parton Bldgs (aka P&G HQ)

Life is short.  We all need to laugh.

Written about in several stories, (like one of my favorites here), I like making people laugh and I’m not above pulling a few pranks on people I like to get those laughs.  I would never prank someone that I do not like, that’s just mean and I’m not really into taking advantage of others.

A good laugh at the workplace brings people together.  I’ve always felt that and have experienced it many times over the years.  The Sanka gag (link) from my foundry days is one of my favorites.  Joe didn’t care for it at first, but later admitted that the joke was funny and in the aftermath, he, Rob and myself had an even better relationship.  In my experience, when people like, (or at least don’t hate), their workplace and the people there, they are more free to be themselves and therefore they are more productive.

So far I’ve shared stories about pranks at home, at Taco Bell (the famous burn ’em sauce) but none yet from my P&G days.  As I am now celebrating my first full year of being unemployed by good old Mother Procter, I’m thinking that today is the day for writing about some of those good times. Continue reading

Growing Up – Concerts that have Brought Me this Far (hopefully many more to come)

See them if you get a chance

See them if you get a chance

I have a lot of notes on my iPad for future stories; things that happened or topics I want to document, basically everything I can remember and anything I think my kids might like to enjoy reading after I’m gone.  This story is being started the night before a Wailin’ Jennys concert in Grass Valley, California.  California has a lot of small towns whose residents support the local arts and artists.  Grass Valley does a decent job of attracting a few major names, (oh, and it’s home to Kenny Bania of Seinfeld – we saw him open for Paul Reiser there).  We also saw the Jennys two years ago at The Crest in Sacramento and fell in love with their voices.
Music means a lot to me.  I’m sure it doesn’t mean as much as it does to people who make their living in the business, but according to Marilu Henner one of our senses are dominant in that it the dominant sense aids our memories.  When I read her book, (Total Memory Makeover), there was a test that helped me determine which of my senses was the guiding sense.  My son Tim’s was smell and my wife’s was touch.  Mine was sound.  My taste for music is wide, but not necessarily what you might call eclectic.  I like most from Bluegrass, like Alison Krause, to Eminem.  I confess that I don’t like most rap, but I do like Eminem.

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My Boy Mitchell is a Grownup

My wife and firstborn toasting

My wife and firstborn toasting

Do you have a major, overriding life goal, one that guides your actions above all others?  I hope so as it can really help to drive your focus and attention to your long term planning activities as well as your contingency actions.  Mine was relatively straightforward; be a better dad than my own.  To me, this translates into working hard to provide them with options in life, options I never had, and trying to leverage my own life lessons in order to help my boys succeed, (or at least avoid some failures).

When my youngest boy graduated from a private liberal arts high school, I had felt that I had accomplished my life goal.  They each had attended college on my dime and now my youngest had the benefit of a Waldorf education and could go to college on my dime if he chose to.  Sometimes though, I have my doubts – did I really do the best that I could, did I give them each the best advice I could?  Continue reading