3 absolutes mountain biking will teach you

The hand

Tru dat…

Even though I am a flatlander living in Central Florida, there are actually some pretty decent mountain biking trails pretty close to my crib. Most of these have been created from the remnants of the phosphate mining industry and the mountainous stacks of sand and dirt they left behind. I haven’t had the luxury of trekking on any true mountain biking trails and it might be like comparing snow skiing in North Carolina vs Colorado, but it gives me all I can handle.

Mountain biking/trail riding was something I always had an interest in and even tried it a few times with a tweener bike, but if you are going to do it proper you really need the right equipment and of course it takes somewhat of a financial commitment to get there.

After using a loaner for several months and knowing this was more than a passing fancy for me, I bit the bullet and bought the real deal. It was love at first site; even though my new girl friend can be quite contrary at times.

Even though I’m just a little over a year into this thing, there are some certain truisms I feel I can share at this juncture with some authority.

The 3 truths mountain biking taught me

  1. You will wreck; not every time you hit the trail but trust me, you will crash and burn. And everybody I talk to has either crashed and burned or knows someone who has. I know people who have quit riding just because of the wrecks; hmmm, should that be a sign?

Skill level doesn’t matter either; in fact, the better the rider usually the more spectacular the crash.

The crashes can occur when you least expect it too, on areas you would think as non-hazardous. I don’t know if it’s lack of concentration or what, but my 3 nasty spills were on very nondescript areas you would normally have little to no trouble negotiating.

And maybe it is my age, but every big crash is just like a mini-car wreck; you definitely feel it for several days afterwards. And do you know how hard it is to get a tired ass adult body off the ground?

2.  Your fitness level will increase substantiallyIf it doesn’t kill you first. 

Since I have started I have dropped 10+ lbs; then again, some of that weight is from the skin I have lost skidding along the trail…:). Of course, the 100% Florida humidity and middle of the afternoon riding does its part to help too. Just make sure you bring plenty of water.

I am probably about 5-7 lbs from my ideal weight and all my vitals are in the better than average range, so for an old fart like myself, this should be worth something, right?

As long as I don’t have to look at you on the beach.

Beach? Well, between the cuts, scabs, scrapes and bruises I’m not exactly Mr Body Beautiful, but at least I am in shape. Maybe I will just plan on retiring the Speedo then if I’m asked to leave the beach.

3.  It will replace other hobbies you have.

My hobby du jour prior to mountain biking was golf; and it is not necessarily that I was looking to replace golf on my schedule, but now with two broken hands I have not been real eager to grab a club and swing it around for 18 holes. Fortunately I have just enough grip strength in both hands to still ride my bike.

That’s just crazy talk. 

How long can this last?

Who knows, I am still enjoying it and have come to realization it’s like a NASCAR race every time I go riding; sometimes you will finish the race and some times you will get tangled up and kiss the wall or flip upside down.

Personally, I feel my skill level has increased tremendously since I have started riding and truly did not expect to be picking myself up off the dirt like I have lately, but I think it’s an anomaly and not the norm. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Or either I am just too thick headed to know when to quit; which is a very distinct possibility.

In summary

I think it’s a great hobby and diversion from the normal ways to stay fit. Yes, you can be safe and remain on the flat beginner trails or you can venture out to the more difficult ones. At the end of the day I would recommend you try it at whatever level you are comfortable with, and if you buy a really expensive bike and decide afterwards it is not your cup of tea, just let me know as I might be in the market to take it off your hands.

Happy trails to you. 

Until we meet again.

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5 things I learned using a standing desk

Desk

I mean standing at work as in a standing desk, no chairs allowed.

One truism in my world of commercial insurance sales is that I don’t make any money sitting in my office at my desk; I need to be out and about among the masses to make it happen. Once, we had a sales manager who threatened to remove the chairs from our office so his troops would feel compelled to get out of the office.

Of course, when you are not in the office then they wonder where you are.
Sheesh……

Ha; if he could only see me now.

For over a year now I have been imitating a preacher and working from a platform that allows me to stand at my desk and not sit. It has been an interesting transition and there were some adjustments to make, but it appears it is no longer an experiment and I am in it for the long haul.

The primary reason I made the change was from a wellness standpoint; allegedly, sitting is the new smoking in terms of lifestyle choices that adversely affect your health. And I actually found this on the internet so therefore, it has to be true.

So what have your results been?

5 things I have learned being a walker preacher stander

1. At the end of the day, damn I’m tired; it feels like I have been on my feet all day. I say that facetiously, but sometimes it’s tru dat and I’m just tired.

2. You have to adjust your writing style. I went on the cheap and made my own platform (because I’m handy like that) but unfortunately, it’s one size fits all. If I’m writing something down or signing a letter it can be a little awkward in a subtle kind of way. If I need to sit I have to remove the box to still access my laptop. But, if this insurance gig doesn’t work out for some reason I suppose I can always try my hand at stand-up desk box building, right?

3. Be prepared to buy new clothes because you will lose massive amounts of weight. Ok, that’s pretty much a lie; I have lost 10 lbs but that’s from the sauna heat in Florida and my new hobby of mountain bike riding. If anything, it seemed to make me want to eat more, but it doesn’t take much for me to want to do that anyway so thank goodness I lead an active lifestyle or I would be buying new clothes.

4. Your co-workers will think you are a little off. Of course they already thought this, but if there was any doubt before, this was confirmation. My wife was concerned I would get fired over it. You become a zoo animal and people want to stop by to observe you working at your desk. Since I went out on a limb and started this trend, we have had one other convert in the office and probably 3-4 more ready to go if the corporation would set it up for them.

5. It helps your focus. For me at least, since I have to be somewhat organized to work from a platform it seems to have helped me stay on task when I am working on a particular project. It seems there is less time to get lost in the time-suck rabbit hole of the online world.

Has it been worth it?

For the most part, yes. I can’t say I have seen any measurable differences in my health, flexibility or fitness level since I started standing.

So maybe it’s not so much whether you sit or stand, it’s more about the activity.

My guess is, intense exercise can be good for your health, but I am of the opinion you can exercise in non-traditional ways too as long as you’re active. I also think if you have a network of people you can lean on this helps your mental/emotional well being which can be just as important.

Do I want to live to 100? Depends as I don’t have any set number in mind; my grandmother made it to 102 and she was relatively active up until the very end. I think your health is the key component and whatever age that might be when yo time is up, the healthier and more self-sufficient you can be the more you can enjoy the ride.

So who’s on board; we’re going streaking, who’s with me? 

 

My top 10 best comments of the week

Some bloggers think it is advantageous to re-purpose their older posts because these prior endeavors were obviously literary works of awesomeness, but for some reason maybe didn’t get the full play they deserved. Well, I looked back through mine and believe I got about as much run as I could so better let those sleeping dogs lie. However, I do have some gems from my comment section that found their way to that special folder and never saw the light of day, but obviously these people know me very well.

For your pleasure, here is the best of the best:

1 – Could you write about Physics so I can pass Science class? Obviously, this person recognized my brilliance right off the bat. 

2 – The genius store called, they’re running out of you. Once again, it ain’t bragging if you can back it up, right? 

3 – For the love of God, keep writing these articles. Now we are calling on a higher power so maybe I better stay in the game, huh? 

4 – Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask! And everybody chided me for having a free site; this will show ya. 

5 – Impressive brain power at work! Great answer! So obvious, will someone please tell my wife. 

6 – Clear, informative, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs? I’m a hugger, I guess e-hugs are good too. 

7 – Howdy my family representative! I want to state that this particular article rocks !, awesome composed you need to include approximately many considerable infos. I’m going to view additional discussions in this way . Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. Nevertheless think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the greatest in its niche.

Amazing blog! I would include more pictures of me, but every time I try to take a good pic this old cat keeps showing up and ruining the shot; maybe one day I can beat him to the punch. 

8 – An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your web page. See, I’m bringing some value; I’m feeding my followers now. 

9 – Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you – My friend Carolyn would be impressed, they are asking me for ‘techincal’ advice; maybe they know me too well. 

10 – Your honesty is like a beacon. See, I told you what you see is what you get. Other than the fact I look much better in person, this is really who I am. 

Top 10 indeed

Well, there you have it. I made the mistake of letting my spam folder accumulate too many of these gems before I tried to clean it out. I think I’m going to start releasing them as regular comments to keep my popularity numbers up.

I was a little disappointed though; it seems back in the day I had some really spicy ones but those seem to have gone by the wayside. Oh well, my friends now joke we are at the age that not only do the girls not see us anymore when we are out, they can’t hear us either.

Say what? 

What are you gonna do; we’ll see who will be diggin’ on me when I win the lottery, won’t we?

Scoreboard.

10 reasons to include me on your bucket list

Without stating the obvious of actually getting to meet me in person and buying me drinks, there are actually 10 good reasons to visit Lakeland, Florida, where I live; on purpose.

Where?

10 reasons to visit Bill Dorman Lakeland, Florida

1. Duh, it’s in Florida… I have lived in the F.L.A. all of my life and I think there maybe was one day I couldn’t go outside because of the weather and it was like 32 degrees or something and I was afraid the roads might ice up.

Yes, it gets hot as balls during the summer but there are plenty of other places that get hot and humid in the summer too. Even though it’s the Sunshine State, where I live is almost semi-tropical and we have plenty of greenery and shade. I am very adept at Florida parking which is good as long as you don’t mind bird shit spots on your car.

2. Location – Lakeland is pretty much in the center of the state on the I-4 corridor which means you can travel to the big cities of Tampa and Orlando in less than a hour. We have the benefit of being able to enjoy the amenities the larger cities have to offer but able to come back home and still be able to drive in normal traffic.

3. World Famous Architecture – Lakeland is home of Florida Southern College which houses the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in the world . In 2011 and 2012, the Princeton Review designated Florida Southern College the most beautiful campus in the country.

Located on the shores of Lake Hollingsworth, it is truly a scenic setting. Lake Hollingsworth is located close to downtown with a 2.87 walking/riding path around its entire circumference and some of the nicest homes in Lakeland dot its shoreline.

4. Beaches – not in Lakeland, but because of its central location you can be in Daytona or Cocoa on the Atlantic or Tampa, St Petersburg/Clearwater or Sarasota on the Gulf in a little over an hour. The beaches on the Gulf are some of the finest in the world.

5. Theme parks – if you are into this kind of torture entertainment, we are once again in driving distance of less than a hour to pretty much every type of theme park known to man.

I gladly welcome tourist who spend their money and help our economy and it’s the biggest reason we.do.not.have a state income tax.

Within the confines of Polk County we have Legoland, Bok Tower and Fantasy of Flight.

6. Professional sports – We have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Orlando Magic within one hour. Depending on the time of year, one of the teams should be playing.

The Bucs have won a Super Bowl; the Lightning have won a Stanley Cup, the Rays have been in the World Series and the Magic have played in the NBA finals. Can your city/region say this?

7. Golf – Yes, because it’s Florida there are plenty of places to play golf; however, the Streamsong Resort is located within Polk County and its Red and Blue courses are already rated in the top courses of the world by Golf Digest.

Even if you don’t play golf there is plenty to do at the resort and it is world class indeed.

8. Bike trails – there are several rail to trails opportunities and over 100 miles of track available to enjoy. In addition to the rails to trails there are nature preserves and mountain biking available too.

Lakeland puts a big emphasis on making it a bike friendly town.

9. Lakes and orange trees – there are many lakes within the confines of Polk County and Winter Haven has the Chain of Lakes which has 10 connecting lakes on the northern chain and 16 connecting lakes on the southern chain.

Yes, there is probably an alligator or two along some of the banks and it is a rarity not to see one if you spend enough time around the water.

Orange trees and plenty of them. You are not really supposed to, but it’s very easy to park your car and just pick one or two ripe oranges from the tree. Some people even have them in their yard, but being a low maintenance guy I don’t need to be picking fruit from the tree or the ground.

10. The Polk Museum of Art – one of Lakeland’s and Polk County’s gems. The Polk Museum of Art is a nationally accredited art museum in Lakeland. It is a member of the Florida Association of Museums and is ranked among the top art museums in the state of Florida.

It is widely renowned and highly respected. There is world class talent on display at all times. If you are into this, you definitely need to put it on your list of must places to see.

So whadda ya think, it would be better than a sharp poke in the eye; is that enough for you to give Lakeland a try and pay me a visit and buy some drinks?

Can you tell I’m thirsty?

C’mon down; I’ll leave a light on for you.

Sharing is caring, but does it really help

If you are involved in any type of athletics that require skill have you ever noticed the difference in style from the people who started playing/practicing early in life versus the ones who picked it up as adults? That is not to say those who don’t start playing a particular sport (golf, tennis) as an adult can’t be as good as the early starters but you can almost always tell who is who just by their style of play.

That is the way I feel about social at times.

When I say I am old school, I ain’t lying; social tends to give the impression we are all about the same age, but other than the fact I am still a kid at heart if you were to count my rings, I have a few.

I grew up playing outside. All day. Without the parents wondering where you were or what you were doing. You just knew when to show up if you wanted dinner.

Because of this, I think it is a big reason I still play outside quite a bit. Also because of this, when the gaming and computers started to become more popular with the kids my time had already passed.

Therefore, I see some in here who have totally embraced this realm and it is very obvious they look a lot better doing it than most of my efforts. Once again, not to say I could not achieve that same level of competence, but it will always look different.

What’s your point then?

Maybe I was destined to be the outsider looking in. It doesn’t intimidate me anymore and I can bounce around just enough to stay one step ahead of the invisible label.

But I am socially lazy.

If you want me to show up and eat your food and drink your good stuff; count me in. However, if you start moving furniture or something I might have to go get my hair did.

I belong to Triberr which is a blog sharing platform. It is very easy for me to go in every morning and share posts. Most of these are posts from people who I have had some connection with along the way.

Unfortunately, I read very few of them. Why? because I am socially lazy remember, and actually have a day job too.

So that begs the question, is this method helping my blogging friends at all? Because I have a somewhat limited network, does it even really matter one way or the other?

I also post through my LinkedIn network and have had people drop me because they think it clutters up their stream too much.

Margie Clayman thought there was very little benefit to her through Triberr just for the very reason too many people are doing the same thing I am doing.

I figure if you don’t lose an eye or something, how bad can it really be?

Because of Triberr I know my posts are shared a lot more than they normally would be but my guess is, it really isn’t driving up readership.

Did you know there are a lot of blogs out there? I’ll bet the number could be as high as one thousand. Crazy stuff, huh?

You take the test

Good or bad; am I just wasting my time? What is better, mass sharing or cut it down to 3-5 and actually read the posts before putting your name on it?

Did I tell you I was socially lazy? I have told you about my mountain biking? Did you know in Florida there are very, very few days you can’t go outside and play?

What’s a brother to do?

Spin Sucks – the book; fighting the good fight

It’s not often you will see me use this platform to promote and/or review a book. After all, I am still a pretty big deal around here and my time is valuable so I just can’t share the spotlight with anybody and everybody, right?

What? Whadda mean this is the first time anybody asked me to share anything…

Well I never…

Will the real Spin Sucks please stand up?

For anybody who has met me through my social platform probably knows two things about me at this point; 1) Most of the time I am not to be taken too seriously, and 2) Gini Dietrich from Arment Dietrich gave me the key that opened up the door to this world for me.

Yes, she will have to bear that burden for the rest of her life.

All kidding aside, I do want to be serious about the Spin Sucks book review and as much as she (and others) have tried to coach my online social efforts, up to this point I’m lagging behind more out of laziness than anything else. At three years in you would think I should have a well-tuned machine by now, but oh no, it’s still the 1970 AMC Hornet model I came in with…yes, I actually drove that rig…

But that hasn’t stopped me from being observant and hanging around the fringes and sometimes it might appear I don’t know much, but I do know some things and one thing I do know, Gini knows this social game as well as anybody.

What does that have to do with Spin Sucks

The book, my review; reading it changed my life. Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch, but it did reinforce to me the right way social can be used to build your brand and make it work to your advantage.

We all know people who jumped in and thought this would be easy or by gaming the system would make them a guru and rich, but one thing stressed throughout the book is to treat this process like a marathon with proper training instead of approaching it like a sprint.

Yes, everything is fast-paced and ever-changing in the world of online social but if you took the time to do it the right way, the better chance you have of not only surviving, but succeeding as well. Spin Sucks the book provides the framework to do just that.

Clear and concise it explains how to take advantage of the opportunity to build trust through communications and using the technology currently available to deliver it; and we all know how much the digitable web has changed the way we communicate.

This is just one small actionable item however as it also addresses how to humanize and effectively tell your story and what it takes to put you in the right mindset to think like a writer, which makes the story telling much more effective. Another key point is the convergence of all media, what you own and don’t own and how that can impact your efforts and how you need to protect what you own and can control.

I was impressed enough with the book that I’m using it as my personal call to action and will be buying several copies to share as gifts with a few entrepreneurs and business owners I know. Spin Sucks and it’s message would fit very well with any current business plan today.

I am at the age where a lot of my peer group doesn’t want to embrace online social, but unless you are ready to retire tomorrow, it is never too late to be a learner.

Times aren’t changing, they have changed my friend and Spin Sucks can provide the framework of staying relevant in today’s environment and having your competition wondering what your secret sauce is.

But who are you to pontificate on this subject?

Just a mosquito on an elephant’s butt; not big enough to make too much noise, but persistent enough to be noticed…

Actually, I think Gini allowed me to be part of this process because she knows how much of a whiner I am if I don’t get to play. Plus, she probably thought my obscure little blog that doesn’t register on anybody’s radar can’t do her much harm, right?

So for what it is worth, if you think this online social thing is here to stay and you need help seeing how it can benefit you, I highly recommend you purchase this book; today. If you don’t find at least 2-3 actionable items that will help your social efforts I will personally give you your money back.

And that’s a guarantee.

Pull the trigger; buy (not steal) Spin Sucks the book now

Here’s the link; hit me with your best shot: http://ow.ly/uZVvP

And my fighting weight is….

You don't have to be perfect

Hey, who said I was a fighter? I know you think I’m probably an American Badass but Billy doesn’t do fisticuffs….I don’t want anybody messin’ up my grill.

Even though that could be a reasonable facsimile of me lounging on the beach, it’s kind of how I feel these days. Having a broken hand over the holiday season and still eating like each meal might be my last sure made my clothes shrink up. You know you are in trouble when you use a knife to punch one more hole in your belt instead of buying a new one.

Hey you old fart, nobody cares what you look like anymore; you’ve been invisible for sometime now. Ha, even though there is some truth to that, it’s a good thing I am fairly active and like doing athletic endeavors that allow me to indulge in tasty food.

But that’s not the point of this post, it’s actually about habits and routines and is it possible to get too comfortable? Change can be hard, but if you are not willing to get out of your comfort zone how can you possibly grow and thrive?

Look out below

When I crashed my bike, it was an accident in the truest sense; it happened so suddenly I had zero time to prepare. Subsequently, my hand took the brunt of the fall. Whereas I thought I’d be a fast healer and maybe down 6 weeks at the max, it is now 3 months and I still can’t grip a golf club (but can still grip a bike handle…:). Being right-handed, fortunately it was my left hand that was injured, but it still tilted my universe just enough to discombobulate me (how do you like that word Josh?) and I have felt off kilter the entire time my hand was in a cast.

In my working world, January 1 is a common renewal date for business insurance so December is always a very active time for me; add all the parties and social events, it can be a very busy end of the year indeed. Trying to get through it just felt like they were sending me into the fight with one hand tied behind my back.

I know, call the whaaaambulance like anybody cares, because my ills were incredibly minor in the big scheme of things. 

But on the other hand…

I have been feeling stale because it felt like my life was becoming too routine and wondering if it was holding my awesomeness back? Routine can make you lazy and predictable and not want to get out of your comfort zone; for some that’s ok and the more routine the better but then you end up sitting back on your heels waiting for something to happen and can only react instead of making something happen; and then you just have to take what you get, good or bad.

What is the happy balance; I don’t want to be that guy? But I also don’t want broken bones to shake my world up either.

Who cut moved my cheese?

Most know my chosen profession is commercial insurance sales. Yes, I said it, sales. If I don’t form a relationship where somebody is paying me, then mama don’t eat; and if mama don’t eat she’s not a happy camper and if she’s not a happy camper, then trust me, nobody is…:). 

Lanier Upshaw Inc has been and still is a somewhat tradtional and conservative insurance agency. We do a lot of things from a service platform that many of our local peers do not do which helps us stand out, but at the end of the day you won’t see us dancing in the streets with our party hats on.

Up until a year ago neckties were part of our dress code with a long sleeved dress shirt…in Florida no less. Allegedly, it can get pretty toasty and muggy in August in the F L A.

We do a pretty damn darn good job of taking care of our customers at Lanier Upshaw, Inc and we have some really talented people who routinely perform at a very high level. However, it seems like it’s a lot harder getting those new opportunities in the door and I’m definitely seeing a changing of the guard where my peer group is either retiring, or starting to think about it.

So, where do I fit in? I did lose the tie and now we call it professional casual but keep a sport coat handy because you never know when it’s going to be 98 degrees with 100% humidity, huh? Easier to dress down on the fly than to dress up I suppose.

I do see this as an excellent opportunity in a land where a lot of us insurance types are treated like vendors, to stand out and create an awesome brand and using a social platform to accomplish this. I’m still a big believer in the face to face networking, but is that becoming a thing of the past; is that too going the way of my necktie?

So who’s with me; who thinks this social platform is going have some legs and be around for awhile? Do you think this is a sound strategy, and if so, does anybody want to do this for me? I promise, I can show up with the best of them, and I can look really good when I just show up, right?

It’s kind of embarrassing to have been in social as long as I have and finally come to this conclusion, huh? I just didn’t think this stuff was going to stick and I certainly didn’t want to be a bandwagon type…:).

If I have to work too hard, I might change my mind but who knows, stranger things have happened I suppose.

Don’t worry, when I become Big Time I will still make eye contact and say hello.

Until next time…

 

Can you do 3 more?

Being social in the witness protection program

Happy anniversary baby, I got you on my mind…….

Back by popular demand…true story, last week I was at an event and a person I didn’t know came up and introduced himself to say he read my posts and really liked my Once you go black you never go back effort; whoa, you talkin’ to me?

That particular post was written over two years ago; maybe I was on the cusp of greatness and should have hung in there, huh? I coulda been a contendah….

Three years is a long time

Actually, the last 3 years seemed to have gone by pretty quick; heck, I did a 3-year tour in the Army and it seemed like 10.  I seem to be at the end of the toilet paper roll where the years start rolling off more rapidly now.

It could have been worse I suppose, I could have become rich and famous in the last 3 years and turned into a total A-hole and forgot about all my friends. Since that didn’t happen, I just re-upped for two more years with my billdorman.me Go Daddy account in case I ever decide to jump back on the hamster wheel full time. Go Daddy said I would get to meet Danica Patrick if I renewed, but that hasn’t happened yet; I believe they tricked me…

However, March 3rd, 2014 officially marks my 3rd year anniversary; I have to stop by the place every once in awhile to make sure my key still works but I have pretty much moved all the furniture out and had the power turned off not to incur any unnecessary expenses. Of course, this is a cheap free site so I never spent a lot of money anyway…:). There’s nothing wrong w/ saltines and ketchup dip; and the clowns I hang with in real life think this is a delicacy.

I used to leave the backdoor open for the strays that would show up, but just noticed the door has been taken off the hinges and since there is no food around anymore there is not much coming and going anyway.

It’s still one big party

For me it is at least, I thought I was going to get serious at one time but don’t know if I have it in me. Whatever online success I have had was because I loved the networking part, and just like in real life, I still do. It was a way to stay in touch with your friends, some more frequently than others, but you usually got a good feel for what was going on in their lives. Nobody was paying me for all this frivolity and if I would have found a way to make dollars happen it would have been pretty cool, but lack of pay has not really been the deciding factor on my level of activity.

Recently, I have been lucky enough to be selected as a Brand Ambassador from a friend for a book that is to be published shortly; and yes, the author had to increase the cutoff to 1001 requests to get me in, but this person has been the biggest influence on me regarding a social presence and regardless of my invisibleness I still know where to find her and for that I’m thankful. Also, reading this book has opened my eyes and rekindled the spark again so there might be a resurrection after all.

I’m just trying to figure out if I need to hedge my bets because I’m not sure if this internet thing is going to make it or not and how uncool will that be if it looks like I was just jumping on the bandwagon anyway?

I just wanted to say thanks

I’m not really a tech guy but I can be as dorky as the best of them. My strengths are people and the networking part and if that and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, then I’m all in; Venti Redeye for me please.

Until you’ve done this blogging gig, most outsiders don’t understand; but all the friendships I have made on this journey they are as real as real can be and I really appreciate it. For me, it has been time well spent.

What does the future hold?

Who knows, maybe better hair or a new car; or just appreciating all the talented friends I have access to on this platform.

All I would say is don’t form the line behind me just yet, and even though I might smell like I’m dead I just might have some life left in me yet.

Until next time…

Cuttin’ grass, my link to the past

I cut my grass, seriously; and the picture above is the exact replica of the rig I’m currently sporting in the ‘hood right now.

Hey you po’ ass, you think we are supposed to be impresssed?

Ok, there is somewhat of a convoluted story behind this post and since this is my house and it’s all about me, here it goes.

Where I stay

I actually live in a gated ‘hood with only 20 lots so it’s probably a pretty safe bet then that I’m the only one old-school enough to still cut their own grass. And of course, my neighbors are probably laughing at me not with me especially on the dog days of summer when it’s freakin’ 95 degrees Fahrenheit w/ nare a breeze in the air and my St Augustine grass should have been cut about every 4th day instead of 7.

Are you stoopid?

Well, let’s just say if a brainiac apocalypse broke out, I might be safe.

Good thing it’s a small yard then, huh?

Hmmm….my yard’s dimensions are 160X170 which equals 27,200 sq feet and if there are 43,560 sq feet in an acre, that means I am push mowing just about 1/2 an acre.

Didn’t you say your mower was self-propelled?

Yes I did, but I also mentioned I have St Augustine and this time of the year I have the mower on its highest setting and it will still choke it out if I just try to buzz through it.

I could have bought a riding mower, but if I’m going to do that I might as well pay for a yard service.

What’s the point then?

Good question.

When I was growing up my dad not only cut our grass every week, but he also went over to cut my grandmother’s grass as well. Do you want to take a wild guess how many times I offered to help? If your guess was less than two, you are probably pretty close.

This is my penance I suppose. I will tell you this, I’ll bet it rivals any cross fit workout that someone would pay $20-$30 to do. If you don’t believe me, I welcome you to come take the Dorman challenge and see what you think. Actually, I’m just trying to get someone else to cut my grass and disguise it as exercise so maybe they will pay me to do it too…:).

Bottom line? I like being outside, even if it’s August in Florida and I like to exercise (even if my fat pasty ass doesn’t look like it), so I can chalk it up as a win. Kind of like doing squats in the gym, hard as hell but still a great exercise nobody wants to do, so another one of those things you develop a love-hate relationship with.

Point two – my wife thinks golf is just too damn expensive. Therefore, if we are not paying a yard guy and she sees me busting my ass out in the yard, I’m hoping it garners some brownie points for at least a couple of rounds a month. Actually, giving her a foot rub while we watch a movie gets much more cred; and being one step ahead of the dog-house is always a good thing, right?

Point three – my dad taught me to be self-sufficient; I know how to fix things around the house. Yes, I could pay someone to do a lot of this stuff, but I like the challenge of doing as much of it myself as I can. And I know most of you think I’m Mr Excitement and just have absolutely no free time whatsoever on my hands; the reality is, I probably have too much and you know what they say about idle hands…..:).

So, do you want a medal, or the chest to pin it on?

Both?

Did you know summers can be damn hot in the F L A? If you try to cut the grass early, it’s still wet from the morning dew and that can make it difficult. If you wait until the end of the day when it might possibly be a few degrees cooler and you can actually catch a breeze, you are probably going to be dodging lightning and rain, and homey respects mother nature.

Ok, then what’s the moral of the story?

I work harder than you?

I’m not the sharpest tack in the box?

There’s really no moral to this story at all?

I used to play little league baseball and fondly recall the smell of fresh cut grass on a Saturday afternoon as we were getting ready to play. It’s not quite up there with bacon, but the smell of fresh cut grass is a good memory for me. It reminds me of play.

Both of my parents are gone, so maybe it’s my thread to the past; the one thing I want to hold onto as long as I’m physically able to.

Or maybe not; I swear to God I think cutting that damn grass will be the death of me, but you know what they say, right? If it don’t kill you it will only make you stronger (I know it was supposed to be doesn’t, but I’m trying to talk Cracker Floridian).

Love-hate; what are you gonna do?

Do you have a thread that holds you to the past?

Do you think grass will ever be legal in Florida?

Meet my friend, Jim Shorts

Huh? Really?

I try to be a give back kind of guy. I actually seek out opportunities where I can give back to my community. Yes, this volunteerism has certainly helped my business but I am serving because I feel it’s the right thing to do. If all you are going to do is be a taker, what fun is that?

I was a long time member of the local Rotary Club, even a Paul Harris Fellow at that. It was a very worthwhile service club and provided ample opportunity to not only give back to the community but meet like-minded business leaders as well.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

Sounds pretty professional too.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

There happens to be 4 Rotary Clubs in my hometown, and each one has it’s own distinct personality. I was a charter member in one but eventually affiliated with another because it better fit my schedule. Of course when I changed clubs, I picked this particular one because it was known as the fun club.

I knew it was going to fit right into my juvenile mindset when during the announcements of visiting guests and Rotarians, Jim Shorts was in attendance.

See, the trick is to pick the newer members who have to get up in front of a crowd of 50-70 people and are probably apprehensive about public speaking anyway, to make the announcements and recognize the visitors. I mean, they are literally handing you the sign-in sheet of names as you walk to the podium. Hence the opportunity to get someone to say a name without knowing the joke will be on them.

Have you seen Sir Charles Barkley’s “I’m a dumbass” clip? This is what happens when you are concentrating so hard to enunciate correctly and say the right thing.

Didn’t they catch on?

Oh yeah, because Jim Shorts was always in attendance so it created a tendency to let your guard down once you got past Jim’s name. Public speaking shuts your brain down sometimes…:).

But do you think we would let it stop there? Not when you have the mind of a twelve year old.

But I thought these were professional business people?

Oh they are, and I can’t speak for the ladies but I know the crowd I run with are just about the biggest goofball’s you’ll meet. We can dress up well, but when you peel the onion back we are still those kids with water balloons and flour bombs on Halloween.

BTW – My wife said she didn’t sign up for this and is still waiting for me to grow-up. Hmmmm, I think you grow old when you grow up so I’ll pass for now.

Who else went to these meetings?

Well, Ben Dover was certainly there and sometimes his friend Jack Strapp came along as well. It was always good to see Stu Pudidiot enjoying the fellowship too.

Because it was a mixed crowd and typically clergy in attendance, most of the names were G-rated. But during my time in the club I do remember Bud Weiser, Cole Dusak, Neil Down, Arthur Itis, Jim Nastic and Justin Time making an appearance.

I guess it’s funny how we never got any of those people to join, huh?

What do you think, does humor have it’s place and should only be used appropriately, or should we always look for humor in just what goes on in our everyday life?

But that wasn’t funny…

I know, not really. But it doesn’t take much to make me smile or laugh and there is more that I keep to myself because sometime it’s just too silly.

So, if you see Jim Shorts, tell him I said hello and I’m looking forward to catching up with him again.