Leadership: How to bring people together

Free beer.

Seriously.

No need to make it all complicated; trust me, free beer will attract a crowd, even if it’s not top shelf.

Did you really expect me to have something profound to say? I do speak from experience however. I kiddingly say I’m the working homeless; showing up at every networking event where there is free drink and food. And I have been to some god-awful networking events, but as long as you feed me, you can have some of my time.

Are the young gay Nazi’s for Christ really a 501c3 organization? 

Did he just say that? I don’t think he’s that young…

What does this have to do with leadership?

Not much I suppose. However, if you are buying the beer and it comes down to a flip of the coin who you want to be in charge, I’m guessing the beer guy will pull a few more votes.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

I have 4 posts in draft just waiting for me to pull the trigger. The more they sit the less likely they will ever see the light of day. The other dilemma I face as that black dot I have become keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller, it truly is to the point, who cares?

This is not a boo hoo, who will miss me when I am gone post. Everything I have achieved or not achieved in here I am happy to say I have earned every bit of it.

Obviously, this post was done on a whim primarily so I would have something to post this week. Thanks goodness for Carolyn (bless her little ol’ heart), she saved me from crickets last week. When, not if the day of zero arrives, it truly might be my tipping point.

You can fish with crickets, my daddy taught me that.

I hope you are having a lovely summer so far.

Now I know how Hootie must have felt

Hootie who? Hey, where did everybody go?

You know, Hootie and the Blowfish. And no, Darius Rucker was not Hootie even though he was the front man for the band.

There was a period of time, this band was the hottest thing around. What started out as essentially a garage band playing on college campuses blew up big time. How big?  Big as a blowfish

In interviews, they will tell you this was not their end-game and all the fame and fortune was somewhat surprising for them. They would have been perfectly content to keep playing smaller, more intimate venues while flying under the radar.

And then they were gone….

Did they run out of talent?

My guess would be no; maybe they just ran out of fresh ideas or desire once they hit the big time.

I know how they feel.

Back in the day when I was wildly popular and some considered me the next big thing, all I could see were clear, sunny skies on the horizon. It was incredible; there were some days I would have thousands er, uh hundreds several visitors a day and it was becoming a real challenge to maintain my lofty status because the bar had been set so high.

Where did they all go?

Well, I certainly didn’t become less talented; maybe I did get a little fat and lazy because the success came so easy to me….ok, ok maybe a lot fat and I have lazy down to a science.

But I still like to perform

Darius Rucker still goes out on the road and is perfectly content to perform for significantly smaller crowds, in fact he prefers it that way.

Of course, I would be content too if I hadn’t blown all my money I made in here the first time around.

There is a big difference doing something because you love it versus doing something because you have to and are desperate. And the smell of desperation is similar to stale BO, not a pleasant smell indeed and very noticeable.

But you didn’t pay your dues

What?

I was hangin’ and bangin’ with the best of them….ok, maybe not hanging with them but some actually knew me by name.

Well, that and $5 will get you a cafe latte at Starbucks. 

Let me ask you this question; do you like to read, listen to music? I certainly do, and think I am pretty good at both. It might not always be culturally correct material, but I can still do it with the best of them.

But just because I am really good at doing both does not mean I have the same level of talent on the production side. About the only instrument I could play would be a kazoo or a cow bell and even though I can write a blog post doesn’t necessarily mean I should, huh?

Did I say I was lazy?

I’m sorry if I disappointed you

I know you expected me to maintain my greatness, but I found it so hard to keep running with the big dogs. I was either going to have to start drinking much more heavily than I do now, quit my job, or start my own meth clinic like Walter White.

Therefore, that is the main reason I have decided to slide back into relatively obscurity; content to play the smaller venues and have the occasional patron come up and say “didn’t you used to be somebody?”

One thing I do know, if you set the bar low enough you will never be disappointed.

No wonder everybody left

Hopefully you know this is a tongue in cheek post, much ado about nothing.

The real genius behind this post was the fact my efforts last week looked like it might be my first where there was a real chance of not having a single comment.

And guess what? I didn’t freak out or rail against the social hierarchy for not including me on one of their lists or for never stopping by to visit.

Other than for my obvious brilliance I should expect no less considering how little effort I have tried to maintain any semblance of a social presence these days.

Maybe I’ll just stick to my reading and listening of music knowing I was destined to be a better consumer than a producer. Somebody’s got to buy this stuff, right?

Is this the one?

Let’s see if this gets less play than my last post; if it does, I will toast it, roast it, but certainly not boast it and just find somewhere else to be awesome for awhile.

Just remember, fame is fleeting so make sure you are well grounded to minimize the drama which allows you to just be your awesome self. I know I try to, hope you do too.

Ok, I’ll stop typing before you are tempted to grab a ballpoint pen and stick it in your ear…provided you got this far down the page.

I hope your summer is going well; mine is….see ya….

How ‘manly man’ are you?

Sorry ladies, this is really a gender neutral post but I had to stick with the title because it was so clever…..:).

So then, do you mean hairy knuckles and the cro-magnon look?

Ok, maybe not that manly and typically not a good look on my lady friends, but then again if you wear it well I might not be too judgmental.

I guess the big question is, how far are you willing to push the envelope; how much of a risk taker are you?

You take the challenge

What got me thinking about this topic was from one of my mountain bike rides. The disclaimer is, everybody knows there are no mountains in Florida, but where I live there was extensive phosphate mining at one time and it left some really nice hills in its wake.

I normally ride in the afternoon, but during the summer when we get in the rainy season it can be hit or miss. Therefore, I have been sneaking out before work on Friday’s to take the weather out of play.

The biggest advantage to this is the temperature is much cooler (relatively speaking) so it is a very pleasant ride from that perspective.

Another advantage/disadvantage is I am usually the first one out there.

The advantage to that is I don’t have to worry about other people on the trails.

The disadvantage is I become the spider-web catcher and some of the critters are still on the trails (alligators, snakes, raccoon’s, and turtles).

Being a native Floridian and one who spends a lot of time outdoors, critters don’t bother me. I know how to respect their space and they typically do the same with mine.

So what’s the problem?

Because most of the trails are the remnants of old phosphate mines, you have bodies of semi-stagnant water called phosphate pits, and steep slippery slopes for the trails. This also happens to be an excellent breeding ground for some really big country-sized critters.

And most of the less elevated trails are right on the water. The elevated ones, it’s just a longer slide into the pit. More times than not, if you are going to take a spill you will get wet.

Knock on wood, I have not been wet yet, but went over the handle bars for the first time last weekend so I’m sure that wet day is waiting out there for me somewhere. One of my riding partners took his first plunge a couple of weeks ago.

Did I say it was stagnant water

Anyway, I feel my technical ability has increased tremendously since I started trail riding and I am now very comfortable on all the intermediate trails and starting to be bold enough to start trying most of the advanced trails.

Well, I was feeling pretty confident last Friday morning and as I had maneuvered through most of the course there are 3 advanced trails toward the end and these are called fingers. They jut out into the water and the entrance and exit to these trails from the road are essentially at the same place.

As I approached the entrance to the first finger I knew I needed momentum because it is on a steep incline and the second part of the incline has a narrow passage-way that you need neutral pedals to get through. Well, apparently I did not have enough mo and right as I got to the narrow entrance I could tell it was not enough to make it and just hit my back brake to put my foot down and walk myself through.

Well, that sounds pretty easy then. 

As soon as I put my foot down I heard this huge splash to my left on the exit trail and knew immediately it was either somebody getting rid of a dead body or a huge gator rolling off his (or her) perch. I softly chuckled to myself and thought ‘I don’t think so,’ and turned myself around and just went right back out the way I came.

You big sissy.

You damn right; even though the gator was getting off the perch and not likely to come back for awhile, I took that as a sign ‘not today pal.’ Have you ever heard of the saying “there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are never any old, bold pilots?”

I might be somewhat less risk averse in my golden years, but hopefully some of this wisdom I have accumulated can still be put to good use.

What risks are you willing to take?

My wife is not in favor of this mountain biking gig, at all. She thinks I am too old and it is way too dangerous.

There is certainly an element of danger too it, but age is just a number and I am a reasonably coordinated and athletic person, so I liken it to downhill snow skiing. The more I ride the better I get, which can be good and bad I suppose; it all depends on how far you push it.

I will also tell you I have a high level of self-preservation too. I’m looking to test my abilities and make myself feel alive at times, but I certainly want to see tomorrow because it’s still good to be Billy.

I like to let my hair down but most would consider me a pretty conservative person. I mean, if you stay in one job and marriage for 31+ years, how wild and crazy have you really been?

Where do you stand; are you more willing to push the envelope with your hobbies than you are your finances or your career?

What is the riskiest thing you have ever done or are doing? Any regrets?

I got (1)99 problems but a blog ain’t one

200

One-nine-nine as in one hundred and ninety nine posts preceding this one; yes, this is post # 200 from billdorman.me’s fabulous site.

And of course to reemphasize how hip I really am, the title of this post is a play off a semi-popular hip hop/rap song so yes, I can be that creepy old guy scaring girls off and who still embarrasses his kids because he never grew up.

Since this blog was birthed on March 4, 2011 that essentially puts me 38 months into this gig with the caveat I was essentially invisible most of 2013; regardless, by my simple math this equates to an average of 5.2631578 posts a month. I know there are many who average this many in a week, but based on my non-platform I have been operating off of it’s amazing to me it survived this long.

According to the stats I have 3,267 followers and have had 74,792 hits; whatever that means. Those are not gaudy numbers by any means but it just goes to show you if a big dope like myself can jump in and get some traction, then pretty much anybody can, right?

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

Just give me something to eat; I’ll work for food.

The few, the proud, the Marines who still read this post came into the game about the same time I did. We all have cycled through pretty much the same emotions and ups and downs this kind of commitment can bring. It has been interesting to see the evolution and who dropped out, who changed, and who still just puts their head down and keeps plowing through regardless.

Just like several hobbies I have undertaken and didn’t see all the way through, I could never figure out if I wanted to be just a writer, a teacher with a business blog, or just a big goof. Work gets serious enough and I know if used properly this platform could enhance my business efforts; but as I explore that landscape and the commitment involved it takes some of the fun out of it for me and hence, some of the appeal.

You’ll never get rich digging a ditch, you’re in the Army now. 

Where is the next WOW coming from?

Blogging was around way before I jumped in, but when I did take the plunge it was new and fresh and felt like one big party. Other than not having a paid site and some of the bells and whistles that go along with it, I considered myself all in. Personally, I feel it was time well spent on many levels and I’m much richer for the experience.

Some say blogging has run it’s course; I have certainly seen plenty who just ran out of gas or decided to change because there was just too much of a sameness permeating these halls of bloggersville.

Bloggers talk about finding your voice, but for better or worse my early posts could easily be interchangeable with the latter. At least it’s consistent, huh?

Maybe that’s why you suck and don’t have any staying power. 

Possibly, but read back about the fun part again.

So what does the landscape look like in 1 year; 3 years; 5 years? Will there be something else that’s new and we look back on this and laugh?

Let’s get this party started. 

I was never looking for fame and fortune

If something would have clicked and I found a sustainable business model that would have worked for me, I would have pursued it as hot and heavy as I am doing my trail riding right now. Other than the networking and meeting new people, I never found enough of that spark to spur me to the next level.

I know you can’t get paid on networking alone and it is usually just a means to an end; but that is what I do really well, you are getting into my sweet spot now. Can’t their be some brilliance in that?

For a 200 this was probably not too epic, but very much in line with my style so why should I try to change now…:).

The reality is, any problems I have are within my control and if I want to change the landscape then I can do something about it. That’s probably a pretty good place to be, don’t you think?

What’s your problem?

 

My wife barely tolerates my girl friend

Bike

You thought I was going to go Donald Sterling on you and talk about how I flaunt my girlfriend in public in front of my wife, didn’t you? I will go one better, my girlfriend lives with me; albeit she has to stay in the garage.

I don’t even know her name, but I think I am in love.

Because I became semi-obsessed with her, it was my wife who dubbed her my girlfriend.

Yes, I am talking about my new trail bike.

It hasn’t been a perfect relationship however

But how many relationships are; just like any relationship worth having it takes a lot of understanding, patience and communication.

Then why did she throw you off 3 times already?

The good news is that I have been on the deck 3 times now after the broken hand incident but still back in the saddle riding; all were really rider error so I will have to shoulder most of the blame. There is a fine line in trail riding between too aggressive and not aggressive enough. In my unprofessional opinion, more wrecks occur being tentative than from being too aggressive. I mean everybody can ride a bike, right? You just have to channel your 8-years old instincts…..

Why are your shins so dinged up; it must not be all smooth sailing

Tru dat.

Apparently there are some adjustments to be made on a new bike after you have broken it in and even though I thought we were still in the honeymoon phase, my chain has slipped at the most inopportune time causing me to bang a shin and/or a knee. I have taken her to the shop twice for adjustments and even though the situation isn’t totally resolved if I keep my fat ass on the seat so the chain isn’t bouncing around as much when I hit terrain it is less likely to happen.

So why doesn’t your wife approve?

She said if I ever brought anybody home they damn sure better be able to cook and clean. Well not only does my girlfriend not cook and/or clean she is obviously getting all of the attention right now.

As I was trying to convince my wife a trail bike was a good investment for me because my window of opportunity for trail riding had a shelf life, she was quick to remind me she felt my window of opportunity for this has already come and gone.

Well I never….

Since I am the sole breadwinner in our family, it’s all or nothing. Since I am worth about 3 times as much dead as I am alive my wife doesn’t want any in between. Either I am upright and answering the bell everyday or I better be pushing up daisies…:).

Nah, I’m sure she’s just teasing; how can she not want to live with Mr Wonderful.

For better or for worse…

What is this post about?

I guess you are looking for some kind of positive take-away, huh?

Me too, so get in line.

I will close by saying if you find something you really like whether it be business or personal related; then what’s the problem with being all in, because that is where I am with my trail riding right now.

Sounds like an obsession…

Close, and I imagine there is a fine line between hobby and obsession. However, I have been all in with softball, running, weight lifting, rec basketball, reading, golf, tennis and online social at one time or the other throughout my adult life so there does appear to be a pattern.

For the athletic ones, usually injuries got me moving on to try something else, but at least it made me try other things.

This is what happens when you never grow up; maybe it’s good and maybe it’s not, but what are you going to do when your wife barely tolerates your girlfriend?

 

 

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…

 

3 lessons Richard Kimble taught me about blogging

The hand

You know, The Fugitive, right?

Yeah, it pretty much sucks being the one-armed man. I took a spill on my trail bike so now I’m walking around like Clubber Lang. One important lesson I did learn however; that would have been my head if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet.

Lesson # 1

It is really hard to type anything of length with one finger. I have all these great and witty ideas rolling around in my helmeted noggin, but about half way through actually getting them down on the screen my A D D kicks in and I give up on it. This is much less efficient than the hunt and peck method.

Lesson # 2

Because buttons and shoelaces are a real pain, I have become very efficient at dressing myself. My shoe of choice for the next 2 months will be loafers, and I will button as much as possible before slipping them on; including pants.

Lesson # 3

For a power eater like myself, it’s hard to load a plate and go sit down; especially during the holiday season when you are at the trough trying to socialize too. The good news is, most of it has become finger food anyway so now I can graze and just forget about the damn plate. It’s already dicey enough that I have to put my drink down to dig in, but sometimes sacrifices need to be made, right?

The moral of the story

Don’t wreck your damn bike and get injured while trying to convince the wife now would be a good time to invest in a new decent trail bike.

The real moral is it could have been much, much worse as I had a friend recently succumb to injuries sustained in a bike accident.

Be careful out there, but life is way too short; live it like there is no tomorrow.

Yes, I’m still a big kid even at 107 years old and I will definitely saddle up again; giddy up.

I hope all who are celebrating holidays this time of year, are doing so with gusto.

There you go, 350 words more or less, typed with one finger.

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.

Help me help you…again

Bike helmet

Is it copyright infringement if you plagiarize your own title?

You can never be too safe in here; plus, I’m paranoid because I have been using Google Images for my photos. I know, I know; it’s not only wrong to steal but even worse not to give credit to who you stole the pic from. I have even read several posts regarding this, hoping to find an easy solution to keep me out of jail legal.

Have I ever told you how lazy and cheap I am? Well guess what, every single one of those free sights still require just about two steps too many of work and that turned me off real quick. Plus, the pictures weren’t as good.

If I have to resort to just using pictures I have taken from my iPhone I will certainly do so. Yes, my head really is that big, but the double chin might be a mirage…:).

I don’t really want to help you

Seriously.

If you haven’t figured it out by now you sure don’t want me telling you what to do.

But I do need help myself. I miss you guys.

I hit the wall because it was all just a bunch of hooey and whatever I was doing was not only not gaining any traction, I was starting to regress at a pretty good clip.

But I really do have a message, and it’s ‘don’t try this at home.’

A boat without a rudder

It’s hard to get where you are going in a boat without a rudder, don’t you think?

That’s kind of where I am right now. First quarter this year was lights out; rock-n-roll. Second quarter, not so much so. Good news is, I’m still on goal but know that I have to keep the pedal to the metal to reach the finish line.

However, since I have quit being active in social I have felt somewhat lost, without direction. But I’m also wondering if this malaise is what caused me to drop out in the first place.

I feel fine and I’m still Mr Happy, but does depression put you in a rudderless funk at times? If so, can it be cured with beer and/or whiskey?

Just suck it up, right?

How do you get the wagon wheel out of the rut?

Nude skydiving during halftime at the Super Bowl?

That might shake it up.

Quit my job and become a professional slacker blogger?

Just kidding dear, nobody is quitting their job until I pass the baton off to the kid. Maybe I’ll just take the next 6 months off……what? It looks like you already have….why I never…..

Maybe it’s the summer doldrums; it just seems it started before the summer and is still lingering like a smelly fart in a crowded elevator stuck between floors.

Where’s the excitement?

I am a pretty low maintenance kind of guy and it doesn’t take much to please me, but maybe if I cash in my 401k and start buying lottery tickets as my ongoing investment strategy that will shake things up, huh?

Enough about me, what about you? How’s your summer going? Have you won the lottery yet?

What if I faked my death and made my wife a rich and single woman and lived my days chasing bears at Amber-Lee Dibble’s Wilderness Adventure? That would be different I suppose. I wonder if you can see Russia from there? Maybe I could be a double-naught spy?

Can you tell I am meandering? That’s what happens when bodies start slapping you are piloting a rudderless boat.

Is it still good to be you? It’s still good to be me, there’s just a lot of change going on around me and none of which I can control that is unsettling at times, but with my hair how can it be a bad thing?

Stay thirsty my friend.