What is Your Exit Strategy?

Well, chronologically March 4th is the 4-year anniversary of this blog but since I have been persona non grata for close to a year it might be a stretch to think this post as an anniversary. However, it was interesting to go back and see what post numero uno (that’s Spanish if you want to look it up in Google translate) was about and what was on my mind at the time. If you are curious at all, here is that bad mofo (that’s French I think).

With writing like that the internet world must have suffered a significant setback when I left, huh?

What does any of this have to do with an exit strategy?

No kidding, right; looks like you are they guy who leaves through the back door without telling anyone goodbye.

The reality is, I am of the age that I should probably start putting some thought into this process instead of just walking out the door at work and expecting everything to just fall into place. Of course, that’s pretty much my MO, to just show up, so why should this be any different?

The truth is, my job is probably not different than most in that some days I am ready to walk out right now, no questions asked. Then there are other days where I feel I could easily do another 10. I am somewhere in between leaving right now and probably closer to 10, but then again I had a pretty kick ass start to this year so we will see how long that euphoria can carry me I suppose.

Part of the reason I am leaning more toward the 10 number is that my wife has already said I won’t be sitting around the house, and if she says it then it’s probably true and unless one of you want to take me in I better just keep showing up at the office.

Looking back

When I reminisce and reflect on my life the easy thing for me to do is to break it down in 10 year increments. 10 years is not a long time, but to put it in perspective I remember how much I enjoyed my 10 year old birthday party with my friends and only 10 years later I was celebrating my 20th with Uncle Sam in the woods at Ft Benning, Georgia.

During that 10 year stretch not only did we move away from the home town I grew up in, my parents divorced and I came of age I suppose.

As much as we take comfort in the routine at times, life is all about change, and a lot can happen in just 10 short years.

In the 4 years since I took the pledge and became active in the social arena there has been quite of bit of change. There have been some consistent Steady Eddie’s but then there have been more who just became tired and threw in the towel like me. It’s just online it’s more visible to all.

Every journey can be a learning process and would like to think I smelled the roses along this journey as much as I could. My circle of friends certainly expanded.

Looking forward

What does the future hold in store? Who the heck knows and when you listen to what is going on in the world around us it can be certainly scary at times. But I usually just compartmentalize it and put it on the back burner because it’s all out of my control anyway.

What I can do though, is to sit down and map out what I would like to see the next 10 years look like for me. Not only financially, but what in the heck I am going to be doing with myself to keep it interesting and fun (I’m still very big on fun).

Fortunately at work we have some tools at our disposal that will allow me to do just that. Things will always be fluid because life events dictate it, but at least I will have a road map to get me headed in the right direction on this journey.

Have you peaked?

Some people who were cool and popular peaked in high school. That wasn’t me fortunately because I was never as cool as I thought I was, and would like to think that peak is still out there somewhere.

Maturity allows for wisdom and most will say I am not mature at all but chronologically it allows me to be reflective and feel I have become more open-minded and less judgmental these days and happy and thankful for my lot in life.

That’s a good thing, right?

Well, enough rambling for now; I’m not making any promises but I’m sure I will at least remain in the somewhat invisible lurking mode for the immediate future. And you know what the man with the glass eye said when he removed it, “I’ve got my eye out for you,” so behave out there you kids and don’t forget to have some fun.

Older yes, but bolder than dirt

Technically, dirt is 3.9 billion years old. However, the dirt that is in your backyard has only been around for about 2 million years; a mere babe in the grand scheme of things, huh?

August 10th is my birthday and even though it’s not a milestone birthday it’s knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door…:). I only mention this, because now it’s to the point the remaining milestone birthdays are not as cool to bring attention to anymore.

No need to divulge which milestone, but I definitely know what a rotary dial phone is.

The reason I use this analogy as the topic of my post is because my nephew just turned 15 and we were sitting around the table at his party talking about the upcoming birthdays in the family, and of course the inevitable how old are you going to be was directed at me. When I mentioned my age the inevitable dirt reference was made. Therefore, I Googled how old dirt was just to make sure I can speak from authority.

Because if it’s on the internet it has to be true; right?

Birthday’s are cool

I like birthdays. Out of all my milestone birthdays with the exception of the 20th, they all have been memorable. I was in the Army on my two-O and whatever I did to celebrate it, I don’t recall it being special. In fact, if I recall anything it was being deeply entrenched in the woods on a 28 day training exercise. The highlight of the entire trip was being able to clean up by jumping in a river on our next to last night out there. Other than my fatigues, I threw all my other clothes in the trash when we returned to base.

As an aside, whereas it might look like camping, in the military there are no camp fires, no booze, and no fun because you are playing pretend war the whole time. Serving was probably the best thing for me at that point in my life, but it also strongly enforced considering other career choices might be a good thing for me.

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

Anyway, being the self aware guy that I am, my wife has totally surprised me on every milestone birthday since then. I mean every single one caught me totally by surprise. She has a year to work on the next one, but I will be ok if if it doesn’t garner any undo attention.

But age is only a number

Physically, I was a late bloomer but have always been somewhat athletic. To me, it seemed I was always about 2-3 years behind my age group where I needed to be physically to compete on real teams. So hence the frustrated athlete still trying to show I’ve got what it takes.

Of course, the older I get the better I was, huh? Maybe if I wanted it bad enough I would have put more time into it.

Anyway, I mention this because to this day most of my activities involve play. For about 15 years you could catch me at the YMCA playing basketball during lunch; after two knee surgeries I moved on to running to stay closer to the ground. Also during this entire time I was playing adult softball, tennis and golf.

The point being, fitness and fun have always been a part of my life and for being older than dirt, I feel like I am still in pretty good shape.

My new girlfriend

My Scott mountain bike of course.

Even though it was love at first site I can share she hasn’t been the best of girlfriends. I try to treat her like a queen and with respect, but sometimes she just gets ornery and becomes difficult at times. This certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with the operator, it’s strictly her temperament.

I have actually become a pretty decent rider (in my own humble opinion) but the last two weekends she has been a bucking bronco and thrown me to the ground twice; hard. I’ve got more scabs, dings and nicks than a goofy 8-yr old riding a bad bike with a loose chain on a bumpy gravel road being chased by an angry dog.

Whereas it used to be cool to share my biking adventures on Facebook I am now reluctant to do so. My wife sees everything I share and she is quick to point out how dangerous my hobby is and somebody of my age doesn’t need to be doing foolish things on a silly bicycle.

Personally, I think she’s jealous and wants me to break up w/ my girlfriend.

Can you be too old to mountain bike? I think I’m still athletic and coordinated enough to be a skillful rider but given the terrain there is always bound to be some bumps and bruises, right? I might not be a pretty site on the beach with band-aids and scabs, but I’m long past the days those kind of looks really matter. I have lost 10 lbs since I have been riding though.

What do you think? Is there a point where your participation in an inherently hazardous sport preclude you from participating solely because or your age?

I don’t know if you have seen the #8Fact app, but one fact says research concludes doing things that scare you will make you happier. Yes, some of the trail riding scares the beejesus out of me but also comforted I have the skill set to accept the challenge. And I have even been given the moniker of Mr Happy, so maybe it’s true.

My biggest fear?

If I grow up, then I really will grow old…and that’s the truth.

How about you; are you out there doing things at your age your parents would have never done?

Life is short, don’t be afraid to live it large.

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.

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.

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….

Is your cheese still being moved?

Is it ever, make it stop; this is an edited version of my original post from February 6, 2012; back when I used to be somebody…

If you are familiar with the bestselling book, ‘Who Moved My Cheese‘ you know it deals with change and how to deal with it in work and life. Sometimes too much change and turmoil makes me want to cut some cheese, that’s for sure. One thing I have come to expect, and that is don’t get too comfortable, whether it is life or business these days because change is just around the corner.

Most know my day job is commercial insurance sales; this is an old-school traditional job if there ever was one. The original model was you work extremely hard your first 3-5 years, ‘grow’ a book of business and put it on cruise control from there.

If you plan on that being your model today I would advise to not even bother because you might have a better chance of taking care of your career by picking a winning lottery number.

Change can be good

Change, because it has an element of the ‘unknown’ typically brings about a certain level of stress. And whereas too much stress might not be a good thing, it can actually work for you.

Although relaxation ought to be, um, relaxing, stress management has somehow become yet another pressing item on our to-do lists. We’re made to feel like failures if we can’t live in a state of balance. But some stress is good; great, even. The discomfort of stress is a sign that you are tackling life’s problems head-on. Stress also improves productivity and performance – at work, the gym – and your body will be stronger if you alternate periods of calm and heart-pounding excitement.

Some know of my trail bike riding exploits these days and you certainly have enough oh-shit, heart-pounding excitement moments just about every ride.

How it has worked for me

Some of you might also know I have been doing this ‘insurance gig’ for 30+ years……….all at the same place. Talk about a breeding ground for complacency. The good news is we have forward thinking management and try to be pro-active and relevant in a fast-paced information overload society. This means don’t get too comfortable in your chair, because you might have to move soon if they even let you keep your chair.

I certainly don’t want to be the ‘that’s the way we always did it‘ guy but try to set the example and lead the charge if I truly think it will benefit the corporation. We are an ESOP (employee owned – employee stock option plan) corporation so everybody’s performance impacts not only our success, but our ‘retirement’ account as well. If everybody has some skin in the game it’s a lot easier to hold everyone accountable.

Has all this change made me uncomfortable at times? Absolutely, but it has also kept it interesting, challenging and fresh. I feel my eagerness to learn and adapt also keeps me young at heart and always growing.

Other changes I see

There are quite a few of us in my community who entered the ‘social’ journey at about the same time. When we jumped on the hamster wheel we were led to believe more followers and more comments are how you succeed. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but you do have a tendency to ‘chase’ under that model; and it’s circular.

Just about everybody I know has varied from that model now they are deeper into their journey, and some have just given up. We are all smart enough to copy and emulate what we perceive as ‘success’ in here, but I feel we have come to the realization there really is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’; it’s ultimately only ‘our way’.

Just like life, if you are going to be a survivor in here don’t get too comfortable in your seat. What is working for you today could be totally different in 30 days…or less; that is how fluid social is.

This is what keeps me going

Numero uno – it has to be fun; fun is a great motivator for me. I work plenty hard in my day job. In my ‘spare time‘ I’m a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and sit on several boards; all non-paying positions. Therefore, it’s important to find a fun factor in all, even if there is hard work involved.

The jury is still out for me if I have the motivation to take any of this social stuff any further than I already have. Not that I made any lists in the first place, but I don’t expect to make many in the future as well unless somebody is doing a ‘whatever happened to‘ list.

What about you?

Has traditional blogging run it’s course? Do you feel there are greater opportunities to be successful with a social platform now or has the newness worn off and most are on the other side of the curve right now?

Is the continual moving of cheese the new norm, or will we ever get back to being able to take a deep breath and actually enjoy the fruits of our labor before running off to the next big thing?

At the end of the day, what is important to you?

What do you bring to the table?

Food I hope, ’cause fat boy gotta eat.

Oh wait, this isn’t a post about food, is it?

Ok, how about this, what defines you; what is it about you that makes people trust you and want to do business with you?

Don’t paint yourself in a box

How many people have you known for any length of time have truly changed the essence of who they are? Or, once you know somebody, do they pretty much stay the course and what you see is what you get regardless if it was 20 years ago or today?

True story for me; my family moved away from the small town I grew up in between my 9th and 10th grade year in school. The town I left was a small enough town where seemingly you knew everybody. In my minds-eye whenever I would think of most of those people I only knew them as kids.

When I heard my old school was having their 30-yr reunion (yes, I am that old) I jumped on the chance to go. Upon arriving, of course my first impression was where did all these old people come from anyway; good thing I moved away or I might have looked like them too…:). The amazing thing, once I re-introduced myself to everybody, I was amazed how most were just like I remembered them; same personalities, same traits.

How can that be, none of us stay the same. Was it just because I wanted them to still be the same?

What makes you special?

Yes, we are all special in our own unique ways.

Most by now know I am in insurance sales. As the norm for most sales positions when I was initially looking for a job and interviewing there were usually some type of personality tests involved. These are not pass/fail type tests, but more to see if your personality and abilities align with the job being offered.

I came across one of those old exams and results recently and it was interesting to see how it described me then versus how I would describe me now.

My strengths were positivity – generous with praise & quick to smile; relator – thrill of turning strangers into friends; harmony – look for areas of agreement; communication – like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public and to write; woo – enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you.

Would you hire me? I’ve got woo, do you?

I guess if those traits were important for the task at hand, then maybe I’m your guy, right?

If you were to describe yourself in 5 words do you think they have held true over the test of time?

That sounds good, but what do you stink at? 

Yes, I am asking you because obviously I am Mr Wonderful and surely we aren’t talking about me.

Ha, your game has more holes than swiss cheese. 

I procrastinate at times; not always having a sense of urgency, which is not a good thing in the land of insurance with drop dead don’t pass go deadline renewal dates. Fortunately I have a great team that keeps me on task.

I am not competitive enough at times; I am competitive with myself, but I have probably left some deals on the table because I wasn’t willing to scrap enough to get the deal done.

I’ve done alright in this gig and don’t really want for much. Considering where I came from I think I have far out-kicked my punt coverage, and even though I could still do so much more, it’s not too bad to be where I am right now.

So is that a good thing or a bad thing; would you hire me now?

What you see is what you get

I guess it is what it is. The key for me is to play to my strengths and surround myself with the right people and try to avoid the potholes that will flatten my tires.

We all see and know people we admire and think we want to be like them when we grow up. However, the sooner you can be comfortable in your own skin and be more appreciative of what you do have the happier, more fulfilled you will become.

I guess the moral of this story is, don’t try to be perfect just try to be good, and happy, and everything else will take care of itself.

And that’s the truth…don’t let anyone tell you differently.

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.

99 things I love about myself…

Lk Region 2

Wha? It’s not supposed to be about me, but only the things I love? Well that certainly changes everything then….it’s a much smaller list now….

Of course, with a 10 minute timer that might really put the pressure on but maybe it will get me thinking deeper about the things I really do appreciate, but sometimes don’t take the time to stop and smell the roses.

The real impetus (word of the day, just for you Josh) is that I have had 185 posts published from this site, and it would be pretty sorry of me not to at least get it to 200, huh?  I could tell you what I have been doing in lieu of being Mr Online Social but trust me, it’s pretty boring.

Ok, here we go; set the timer:

The 99 things I love or like a lot:

  1. My wife Allyson – even though I think I’m a piece of cake to live with, she has to put up with a lot.
  2. My kids, Will & Justin. I had sisters growing up and never got the brother I wanted until much later; they have been a blessing.
  3. My family, all of them. There is definitely some wackiness in there, but I love them all.
  4. My job – not everyday, but many more days than not. It’s the bomb…
  5. My hair – you didn’t think I was going to leave that out, did you?
  6. My IRL friends – I have different sets of friends depending on the occasion, but know some pretty good peeps.
  7. My social friends – Here too I have different sets of friends, but have met some really super peeps online.
  8. Networking – free food and drink; I love this kind of stuff.
  9. My health – I take no medication, eat and drink what I want and still play to my heart’s content.
  10. The smell of coffee in the morning.
  11. The smell of bacon anytime.
  12. The smell of fresh cut grass.
  13. Baby’s breath.
  14. Puppy’s breath.
  15. A perfect golf shot.
  16. Physical activity that makes you sweat.
  17. Being a handyman around the house.
  18. A soft kiss.
  19. A good hug.
  20. The smell of leather from a baseball mitt.
  21. Helping others.
  22. My FSU Seminoles.
  23. My Tampa Bay Rays.
  24. Reading a good book.
  25. Making someone smile or laugh.
  26. Quirkiness.
  27. Originality.
  28. A perfect sunset.
  29. A perfect sunrise.
  30. Running in the morning before the sun (and heat) rises when it’s nice and quiet.
  31. Surprise birthday parties.
  32. Drinking – no, I’m not an alcoholic nor do I drink every day, but I do like an ice cold beer, glass of wine, or Goose & Cranberry.
  33. Cold water – to drink; agua, nectar of the gods.
  34. Hamburgers – remember Wimpy from Popeye?
  35. Tomatoes – just about any way.
  36. Smell of popcorn.
  37. Boiled eggs – in salad or in turkey dressing.
  38. Fried eggs – sunny side up.
  39. Tabasco sauce – on just about anything.
  40. Smell (and taste) of baked bread.
  41. Cabbage – yep, that too.
  42. Outdoors.
  43. My iPod.
  44. The beach.
  45. Genealogy.
  46. Closing the deal – bringing value to a relationship.
  47. Honest people.
  48. The power of music – songs that bring back good memories.
  49. College football.
  50. Pro baseball.
  51. People who do what they say they are going to do.
  52. Leading by example.
  53. No hidden agendas.
  54. Blue eyes.
  55. Women.
  56. Rumps – you know, buttocks….on women of course…:).
  57. Art/pictures that are captivating.
  58. Onion rings.
  59. Grits.
  60. Driving fast – don’t tell my insurance agent….or wife….
  61. A bird’s nest.
  62. A dog’s unconditional love.
  63. Comedy.
  64. Spring.
  65. Fall.
  66. A shooting star.
  67. Fireworks.
  68. Shooting a gun – but not at people or critters.
  69. College campuses.
  70. My fraternity brothers.
  71. Rice and tomatoes.
  72. Ribs on the grill.
  73. Chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks.
  74. The still of the night.
  75. Making a difference.
  76. Accomplishing something you worked very hard at – marathon, 26.2 miles, 3:42 time.
  77. Airboat ride.
  78. Clean sheets.
  79. Having someone wash my hair.
  80. A massage.
  81. Time travel – wha?
  82. A fresh haircut.
  83. Chips & salsa.
  84. Mexican food.
  85. Onions.
  86. St Andrews.
  87. Monaco.
  88. Belly laughs.
  89. Loyalty.
  90. Teamwork.
  91. Being the man.
  92. Writing a blog post that someone would actually read.
  93. Mail.
  94. Finding money in a coat you haven’t worn in a while.
  95. Pen pals.
  96. Tampa Bay Bucs.
  97. Frank Robinson – look him up; he was my sports hero.
  98. Johnny Unitas – look him up; he too was my sports hero.
  99. Sincerity.

There you go; obviously somebody likes to eat, huh? And, I’m pretty sure it took more than 10 minutes to put this together so I probably defeated the purpose. And and, there is no rhyme or reason or particular order, but all things I can dig on.

For what it’s worth; here it is.

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.