Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - The Year in Review

2007 has come and gone and it hardly seemed like it got here. Here are a few of the highlights of the year.

  • I started this blog after learning about and reading some of the blogs by my coworkers.
  • My wife only had to have one major procedure done this year. This in and of itself made it a good year, as we jokingly state we are putting all the doctors' kids through college.
  • My wife's mom stayed out of the hospital this year. This is another major plus for the year, since last year she almost did not make it to 2007.
  • The company my wife worked for was bought and her call center was closed.
  • The company I work for was bought not once, but twice this past year. Technology is ever changing and it looks like we are going to rise to the top of list of best providers.
  • We met some new friends this year when we were not even looking for them.
  • My mom came out for her annual visit from the east coast.
  • Our daughter moved back home. The jury is still out on this one since it has only been a few days - :-). It is actually good to have her back home.
Here is to a wonderful 2008!.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. I cannot think of a better way to end the year.




Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.

May your heart be filled with love and your home be filled with family and friends.

Be thankful for what you have and for what you get. Don't worry about what you don't have and didn't get.

Enjoy the people in your life and don't take them for granted.

Call the people that are not able to make it your home on this joyous occasion and let them know you love them and that you were thinking of them.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. God did.

Friday, December 21, 2007

In the News - Paying It Backward

I was watching the news this morning and heard a story about people at a drive-thru Starbucks where each car in line, for about 2 hours, was paying for the person behind them. I thought that it was a a very considerate gesture at this time of the year.

There was also another story about a man in Vernonia, Oregon who was seriously injured over the summer and then lost nearly everything he and his family had during the flood. There are several different people and companies that are helping the family out by providing land and other necessities for his home to be rebuilt. While there is another group that is providing a home, rent free, until the new home is finished.

These are just a couple of examples of how people act when the need or season arises. Now if we can only get people to be nice all the time. You know me, if I am going to dream, I am going to dream BIG.

Make someone's day a perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as paying it backward.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Spirit

For most kids, Christmas time is one of their most favorite times of the year because of all the presents they get.

There are lots of people who go without at Christmas time due to circumstances beyond their control. Some are troops who were shipped to the other side of the world. Others just have had really bad luck. While still others were adversely affected by nature.

This time of the year is one of my favorites because of what I can give to and do for others as well as see how much the community I live in does for others. At work this year we adopted a troop and a family this year. It is amazing how gracious the people I work with are. There were boxes upon boxes of goodies gathered for both groups.

One of the parents that helps with the girls' basketball team I coach is helping Intel renovate some of their apartment complexes and all the old furniture and stuff is going to help the people in Vernonia who were flooded out.

I am very proud to live in the greater Portland, Oregon community because of all the good they do particularly at times of need.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Any and all days are a good time to do it, but this season makes it even a little more special.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

PADNUG November 2007

PADNUG (Portland Area Dot Net Users Group) was held at my work's campus center last night. Oh my goodness, there were a lot of people that showed up. Well, Microsoft did show up with the opportunity to get VS8 and provided good food from Pasta Pronto; my favorite was the alfredo sauce on penne pasta.

Before the "show" even started, there was some entertainment just watching the guys setup the audio and visual equipment. They did all kinds of jerry rigging to get three projectors to display on three screens (two of which they brought with them) from a single computer. Ok, you now know my secret, I am easily amused. :-)

VS8 was the primary topic of discussion, which focused on LINQ, but there was also a presenter on SilverLight. In the old school rules of being a developer, you stick the developer in front of a computer with internet access or at least access to reference books and leave him/her alone and the developer was happy as a clam. Those days are long gone. The developers must be presenters of their ideas and technologies, or to explain what their program does and how it did it. I must say that the presenters did a good job.

Scott Hanselman was one of the presenters, who is anything but boring. Chris Sells was in the audience heckling him, which made the presentation that much more entertaining.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as inviting them to event.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Run Your Own Race

I am a computer geek, but not the ├╝ber computer geek that my buddy Scott Hanselman is.

I like to play basketball, but I am not Kevin Garnett or Shaquille O'Neal.

I like to cook, but no one will mistake me for Emeril Lagasse.

I will never be mistaken for an electrician or car mechanic or even a doctor.

To be the best at something, you have to do your best at it and like what you are doing. If you don't like what you are doing, it is hard to continually do your best.

Don't compare yourself to anyone. You need to run your own race. The only comparison you should be making is how you were doing previously to how you are doing now. Just because you neighbor may be a bar-b-que king, it does not mean that you will be one or that you even need to try to be one. I repeat, you need to run your own race.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Show someone that you are good at what you do by helping them.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You Just Never Know ...

Anyone who knows me knows that sports play a big part of my life.

Part of the reason that I hold open gym and coach basketball is to give kids an alternative choice to getting into gangs and getting into trouble. Part of my philosophy is if you keep kids occupied with something positive, they won't have time to get bored and get into trouble. Sports does not always mean that kids and young adults won't get into trouble or have trouble find them.

This past week , the Washington Redskins of the NFL had one of their players, Sean Taylor, killed while at home during the middle of the night.

Early in his pro football career, Sean Taylor got himself into trouble both on and off the field. However, about 18 months ago he and his girlfriend had a daughter together and Sean Taylor turned his life around. He realized that he was directly responsible for someone else as a role model and the maturity "light" went on for him. He was getting his life in order.

It is not yet known if this was a home invasion robbery gone bad or a person vendetta against Sean Taylor possibly due to past transgressions. From what I have read and watched, there still are not a lot of details as to what actually happened that bitter night, but Sean Taylor was at home. He was not out at the bars or at some strip club with the guys. He was at home where he was supposed to be. He heard a noise and got up to try to protect his family. He did what a man is supposed to do.

Sean Taylor was 24-years-old.

Live your life to the fullest because you never know when your life as we know it is going to be over. Live each day like it is your last, because you are not promised tomorrow. Tell your friends and family that you love them every chance you get so they actually know it. You don't want to miss the opportunity, because you just never know when God is going to call you home.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. You just never know, you might not get the opportunity tomorrow.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Civil

Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.
~ Benjamin Franklin

I heard a paraphrase of this Benjamin Franklin adage last night on the television show Numb3rs and it got me to thinking. The paraphrase was something like this, "be civil to all, social to many and friend to few." I think they should have included the enemy to none, but I don't think it would work real well for a crime solving drama when they are catching the bad guys, who naturally become an enemy.

Without really knowing of this adage before, this is how I see my life. I do try to be civil to all; I would rather think that most people are good and error on the side of being good to them and being burned once in a while than miss the opportunity of meeting someone nice by thinking most people are not nice. I try to be cordial and/or social to most people for the same aforementioned reason; blogging to the couple of handful of readers that I have kind of also covers the social part. I am more like the paraphrase I heard, friend to few, rather than familiar to few and friend to one. I can count my friends on one hand, but there is only one person, other than God, who truly knows who I, and that is my wife, Yvonne. I try to be an enemy to none, but I know that everyone is not going to like me, and that really does not bother me too much.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. And remember to be civil to everyone.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a top two holiday in my book; it bounces around with Christmas and it is often hard for me to decide which one I enjoy more.

The reason that it ranks so high on my list is because you get to spend times with friends and family around a small feast that you and they prepared with love.

Sometimes the people you see around the dinner table at Thanksgiving are ones you only get to see once a year. So Thanksgiving is a time that you make the time to spend with your loved ones, no matter how busy your hectic schedule is.

This Thanksgiving, all-in-all, was a good Thanksgiving. We went to some friends' house that I don't get to see very often. Yvonne created a new dish from a new cookbook that she got from a cooking show that she and her friend went to see together; everyone seemed to really enjoy the dish, so it will probably become a holiday regular. Our daughter and her boyfriend also made it over, so we had the entire clan there.

Although belated, Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is a great way to show your thankfulness for what you have.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Being Thankful

I am thankful for my wife when she says, "Hot dogs for supper"
Because she is home with me, not someone else.

I am thankful for my daughter who is complaining about doing dishes,
Because she is at home and not out on the streets.

I am thankful for the taxes I pay,
Because it means I am employed.

I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party,
Because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

I am thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug,
Because it means I am healthy enough .

I am thankful for the aches and pains after playing basketball,
Because it means I can still run and play.

I am thankful for my shadow that watches me work,
Because it means I am out in the sunshine.

I am thankful for a lawn to mow, windows to clean and gutters to fix,
Because it means I have a home.

I am thankful for the complaining I hear about the government,
Because it means we have freedom of speech.

I am thankful for the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot,
Because it means I am able to walk and I have been blessed with transportation.

I am thankful for my huge heating bill,
Because it means I am warm.

I am thankful for the pile of laundry and ironing,
Because it means I have clothes to wear.

I am thankful for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day,
Because it means I have been able to work.

I am thankful for the alarm that rings early in the morning hours,
Because it means I am alive.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It will give them something else to be thankful for.

Upgrading to the 21st Century

I traveled to one of my friend's in California over the weekend to help him celebrate turning 40.  I remember when I was young and I thought that forty was really old; your mind changes quickly as you approach that magical age.

While I was there we went to visit his mom - because that is where the party was going to be held - and his aunt because she was having computer issues.

When we arrived at the mom's house, the first thing said after greeting us was that she was no longer able to get the Hallmark Channel and she got this box that needs to connected so she can watch her TV.

She has the same cable company that I have back home and I knew exactly what her issue was and what the box was that she needed to have connected.  It was a digital to analog converter box that needed to be the liaison between the wall and her VCR, which then connected to her TV.  Her son Ron, who is my friend who is turning 40, thought it would be cool to not only have the digital box, but also a DVR.  So, our next step was to check out the web page for the cable company to see what packages were offered and at what prices.  Not only was this the next step, but this was also the hurdle to overcome.  Mom had a dial up connection;  oh my goodness, it felt like I was back in the 19th century it was so slow.  So now we were going to check to see how much it would cost to upgrade to a DVR and how much to get a broadband connection.  For broadband, we only had one option because the other companies had not yet developed in the area - ugh, talk about a monopoly.  So we check out the price of the broadband and find that it is not too bad; there are no prices listed for getting a DVR, so we have to go to the customer support site.  Once there, we found out that we could not just upgrade the box we got, we also had to upgrade the service to a digital classic package in order to get the DVR.  Ron did a good job on selling his mom on the benefits of the DVR that she agreed to it and we upgrade to DVR and get the broadband upgrade as well.  The customer service representative asks if we want someone to install the new services and hardware and we respectfully decline; Ron and I are relatively handy and computer savvy, so we figure this should be pretty easy.

We get home and start making the connections for the cable and broadband connection.  Relatively speaking, it went pretty flawless.  Now the next step is to make sure that it all works.  We start off with broadband; it is a painfully slow process in trying to register.  After about 30 minutes, we finally get to a screen that says we need to contact customer support.  I drew the short straw and I had to call.  I was on hold for over 40 minutes before I got to speak to a human being.  Then it took about another 30 minutes for the customer support representative to determine that we were registered and he just needed to have someone flip the flag so we could have a broadband connection.  Voila, we were now on broadband.

 Our next task was connecting up the DVR; we thought we would be done in about 15 minutes which included disconnecting most of the current connections and getting our hands through a relatively small TV stand.  Well 10 minutes later, we have all our connections made and I am ready to make the call to the cable company to register the DVR.  I am on hold with the cable company for about 20 minutes before I get to speak to the customer service representative (CSR) and she gets takes the information for registering the box and says it will take about 45 minutes for the updating of the DVR to be in place before we will be able to view the guide and start using the DVR to record.  We are watching TV and waiting for the 45 minutes to pass and we actually give it about 55 minutes as we got involved in show we were watching.  We press the magic  guide button on the remote and nothing.  I press the On-Demand button to see if that is in place; we just get an error message that states we should call the cable company.  I get on the phone and place the call to the cable company and I am on hold for about 33 minutes and Ron decides to call on his cell phone to see if he can get in any faster.  About another 10 minutes pass and we finally get to speak to a CSR on the call that placed, so Ron hangs up his cell phone and starts talking to the CSR.  After about 15 minutes of me turning on and off the DVR and the CSR turning on and off the DVR remotely, we finally have success and are able to view the guide, view On-Demand and record stuff.

Our last task is to teach Ron's mom about her new hi-speed Internet access and how to use her DVR in conjunction with her VCR.

For the Internet access, all I had to tell her was that she could be on the Internet and be on the phone at the same time and she was happy.  When I showed her how much faster everything displayed on the screen, she was nearly ecstatic.  First half of mission Upgrade to the 21st Century accomplished.

DVR and VCR remote controls and what buttons to push and when.  This was a little challenging, but the only downfall according to Ron's mom was that she could no longer watch one TV show while recording another.  She loved the fact that she could watch the Hallmark Channel and see what shows were coming on it for a couple of days in advance.  The other big feature she liked was to watch some of her favorite network shows On-Demand whenever she wanted to watch them with limited commercials; this was definitely the icing on the cake.

Even with the long waits on hold with the cable company, I think it was well worth the time to bring Ron's mom into the 21st century in regards to TV and Internet connections.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness.  They too might need to be brought into the 21st century.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

12 o'clock flasher

Are you and/or any of your friends or family 12 o'clock flashers?

What is a 12 o'clock flasher you ask? I am glad you asked. Does your VCR always flash 12:00? If it does, you probably are a 12 o'clock flasher. Are there buttons on your microwave that you have no idea that they are even there or how to use? If so, you are probably a 12 o'clock flasher.

12 o'clock flashers are people that are challenged by technical devices that normally just require a few minutes of time to RTM (read the manual) and/or spend a couple of minutes tinkering with the device.

My wife is not a 12 o'clock flasher. Whenever she goes back to her mom's place, she is the designated person to get the VCR set to the correct time as well as setting up the VCR to the cable to the television and any other electronic device because they have not worked since the installer came by and did not do them right - which could be as long as 6 months.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is most definitely a 12 o'clock flasher. She has had the same microwave oven for about 10 years. It is a nice microwave. It has buttons for warming a cup of coffee (my wife has no idea why anyone would ever want to do that because it alters the flavor of coffee), cooking a potato and cooking bacon, just to name a few of the functions. My mother-in-law would cook her bacon in the microwave, but always push the amount of time she wanted to cook. On one of my visits a few years back, I showed her the bacon button and she said she had no idea that button was even there.

If you are a 12 o'clock flasher, it is not too late. You can be cured. If you are not a 12 o'clock flasher, you have a civil duty to help your technology-challenged friends and family members.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. I am sure a 12 o'clock flasher will be very thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Is There Enough Time?

There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done that I need and want to do. The sad thing is that the needs are all that are getting done on any given day. And sometimes all of them don't get done.

Even as much as I joke with my buddies that sleep is overrated, you can only deprive your body of sleep for so long before it starts to rebel against you.

Organization is an important factor in making the most out of your time. If you can spend some time at the start of your day to determine what you need and want to do doing the day, there is a better chance you will be able to do more of it. It also gives you the opportunity to determine whether or not the tasks on your plate should really be on there for you to do or if you should delegate them to someone else to do.

I think my next step is to read the The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. It is my understanding that this book helps you prioritize what you need to do and delegate what needs to be done, but not necessarily by you.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person might need some help getting things done because there just is not enough time in his or her day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

10 Seconds

When you get put into either a crisis or perceived crisis situation, give yourself 10 seconds to let your emotions flow and then let them ebb. This way you are not battling your emotions while you are trying to deal with the situation.

Once you have your emotions back in control, you can then deal with the situation at hand. Don't concern yourself with how it will affect the future; only concern yourself with how you are going to handle the current situation. This way you are focusing on the issue at hand and you will not be clouded by things that may or may not happen.

Solve your issue and the other stuff will take care of itself.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might need some help getting through a crisis situation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just Ask

I wish that Mind Reading 101 were a class taught in life. I would not want to know what everyone is thinking all the time like on Gilligan's Island when Gilligan started eating some indigenous seeds on the island and then can magically read everyone's mind. Just once in a blue moon, it would be nice to know what is going on in someone else's head.

Since we can't read other people's minds, we are just going to have to ask them what is on their mind or ask them to do things.

So, here is the reason that I actually started blogging about this topic this morning. I say that people in general are good and do good things. If you want someone to do something for you, they probably can't read your mind, so you need to ask them to do it. If the task that you are asking them to do does not put them too far out and does not cost them financial hardship, they will generally do it for you. The worst that could happen is the person will tell you no - if people tell you no, do not be offended, because this was the worst that would happen.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as doing something for someone when the person asks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is Chivalry Dead?

Chivalry, as defined by dictionary.com is the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

Wikipedia defines chivalry as a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and courtly love.

I say that it is not dead, but it is on the verge of becoming extinct. On the whole, people are very receptive to acts of chivalry, such as doors being held open or letting someone into your lane when you see the other person's indicator on, but as an everyday act, I don't see many acts of chivalry happening.

When my wife and I go to a restaurant, I find out what she wants to eat and how she wants it, so when the waiter or waitress comes by to take our orders, I order for the both of us. Even more simply, I try to remember to pull out her chair and push it back in for her when we get to the table. I also try to help her off and on with her coat when she is wearing one.

I am very glad when I do see it, but I seldom see this happen any more. So I ask, is chivalry dead? Or is it just me not seeing it?

I think the reason chivalry is being extinct is split 50/50 between the sexes. Guys are too self absorbed to be thinking what they should do when dating or going out on a date with their wives. And gals are in a rush and are not willing to wait for the guy to do things and they also want to show their independence so they want to do things themselves.

Guys - if you are married and you want that spark back in your marriage that you had when you were dating and when you first got married, perform small acts of chivalry that you did when you were courting your wife. If you are single and don't have much of a social-life (and not because you want it that way), small acts of chivalry should improve your social-life dramatically.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as a small act of chivalry.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Strength

The strength of the team is each individual member ... the strength of each member is the team. ~ Phil Jackson

Whether you are on a sports team or part of a team at work trying to complete a project, Phil Jackson's statement holds true.

At work, a good boss is not always the person who knows the most about every particular piece of the project, but is smart enough to surround him/herself by people who are or can be the goto people on each piece of the project. The boss will make sure that the team has everything they need and that they work well together. The boss will also bring in the appropriate person or people if there is a strength missing from the team.

In sports, you can't have a team of all-stars very often and still expect them to win. There are too many egos to accomplish this goal. In basketball, everyone would want the ball, but no one would want to give it up to someone else to shoot [there are a few noted exceptions.] In baseball, you have the NY Yankees. They have not won the world series in a long time. Shoot, even Michael Jordan did not win his first championship until he got a supporting cast.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It will show that you are not just looking out for yourself.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Camaraderie

The cool thing about being involved in sports is the camaraderie that you have with your team and coaches. Being on a sports team is often the only time that some people feel that they are actually on a team that is trying to achieve the same goal. I say this camaraderie should carry forward to the work place.

You are not going to be best friends with everyone you work with, but you should all have the same goal of providing the best service and/or products possible to the customer. It should NOT be one group versus another group [unless you are playing flag football and the groups are split :-)]

You should enjoy the work that you do and the people that you work with 8+ hours a day. Sometimes you are spending more time at work than you are at home with your families. BTW, more time at work and less time with your family should be the exception rather than the rule.

Make someone's day by performing a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as showing one of your co-workers how much you appreciate what they do.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Good Bye to an Old Friend

This past weekend was a very tough weekend emotionally. We euthanized our dog Sparky. He was almost 15-years-old and was losing his battle with what the doctor called "the spins." The reason we decided to take the route we did was our other two dogs could sense that Sparky was sick and were aggressively attacking him on a daily basis. Sparky did not deserve to die that way. He was a tremendous watchdog and a great companion over the 14+ years he was part of our family.

Here are some of my favorite anecdotes about Sparky.

We got Sparky when we were in New Jersey. Sparky flew in an airplane to get back to the west coast (how many other dogs can say they flew in an airplane?) I got bumped from my plane, but Sparky did not. When I finally arrived in California and went to get Sparky, the handlers were very happy to see me because Sparky broke out of his carrier and was running around the hanger. He figured he had been in the cage long enough and since they were not going to let him out, he let himself out.

Speaking of letting himself out - Sparky was very adept at letting himself out of most any room; it did not matter the kind of handle. We were living in an apartment that was across the street from a park. For a few days in a row, we kept finding Sparky at the park. We found out that Sparky was opening the door with his nose. We had to change the handle to a round nob from the push up or pull down handle, because the door would unlock itself when you opened it from the inside. On a tangent, one of the tricks that Sparky learned was to go down the slides at the park. Sparky loved going to the park and going down the slides. The little kids enjoyed it too, until he cut in line and would go down the slide without waiting his turn.

Sparky loved going for rides in the car. Oh did he love it. When he was young, he would jump into the car through the open window. If we were going somewhere and said ride -and we did not intend on taking him, we had another thing coming - if he got in the car, he would not get out until we took him at least around the block. He got so excited. We decided that we would spell the word "ride" when we did not plan on taking him - silly us, after spelling it a few times, he learned what r-i-d-e spelled. We had to spell it backwards so he did not know what we were talking about.

Sparky loved three things more than anything else to consume. Yes, I did mean consume and not eat. Sparky loved tuna fish and coffee - light and sweet. Sparky was one of the few dogs I have ever encountered that would actually share food - except for his tuna fish and coffee. The last item I will talk about shortly.

Sparky was a border collie - German shepherd mix. He was a land dog that would herd. Well, at least that is what the book says he is supposed to do. Sparky loved the water. He knew how to swim and loved to do it in his younger years. We used to have a natural pond of sorts by one of the places we lived that we would bring Sparky. The pond was not exactly clean; it had wood, branches and an old tire in it. Sparky would bring stuff to us out of the pond, and we would toss it back in and he would bring it back. After a few runs of this, Sparky got tired of us tossing things back into "his" pond and he started bring the stuff to the other side of the pond. He was cleaning it out. He wanted his pond clean.

Sparky was "the" watchdog. The other dogs would bark at just about anything. Sparky would only bark if there was something to be concerned about. Unless Sparky barked, I would not go check on what the dogs were barking at.

Last, but not least, Sparky loved his treats. We had the treats in the pantry in the hallway. Remember when I said he could open doors? Well, we put a child gate up to keep the dogs from running up to the front door as well as keeping Sparky out of the pantry, because he knew where his treats were. It was quite humorous to watch him open the door, get into the bag of treats and take one treat at a time. He would finish the treat and go back for another one.

Sparky was a wonderful dog, and a wonderful companion. He was so happy to see us come home and would do a happy dance. He will be missed and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quite Time

Going through the muss and fuss of the rigors of everyday life gives us very little time for any quite time during the day. Or at least any quite time that we take advantage of as such.

There are actually several times during the day that we could (and should) use for quite time during the day to make the day more bearable.

1. The ride to work. Whatever amount of time it takes, this is time that you can have to yourself to either get yourself ready for the day or just relax without having to think about work at all.
2. Lunch time. Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't have time for lunch, so you get your lunch from wherever and eat it at your desk so you can work through lunch so you don't have to stay too late. Every now and then, you need to take lunch so you can get away from the process so you can get a clear mind and handle things with a renewed spirit.
3. Your ride home. This is a good time to wind down and forget about work for awhile. You are leaving work, so that is where work should stay (at least until you get a call stating you need to work on something again.)

Enjoy your quite time. You generally don't give yourself much of it. Take advantage of the times you do get, because you generally will not know when the next one is going to come.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as doing something for them so that they can get a few minutes of quiet time.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dress for Success

If you want to be successful, you need to act and look successful. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be serious.

One of my favorite movies is The Secret of My Succes$. The premise of the movie is a college graduate from Kansas gets a job in New York and on his first day, the company is bought out and he is out of work. He ends of getting a job in the mailroom for his uncle's multi-billion dollar conglomerate. He really wants to be in a position he studied for in college and when he sees an opportunity to get a position he seizes it while he mains his mailroom job. He ends up wearing one set of clothes for his mailroom job and brings dress clothes for the other job and is continually switching between clothes as he switches between the jobs.

If you want to work in the corner office, you need to dress like you want to work in the corner office. Your attire will show you mean business, as well as show your confidence in yourself.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It will help the person out as well as show the person your character. You never know if that person could be your boss sometime down the line.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Basketball Tryouts

Last night was basketball tryouts for the basketball team I am going to coach this year. There was an incredible turn out. There were some 25 young ladies trying out for the 7th grade team and 11 young ladies for the 8th grade team. There is something to say when you get that many young ladies to show up when just a few years ago there was scarcely enough to make up either team.

I think a big part of the reason that there are so many young ladies now is the good program that Hillsboro Hi has in place. It is not all just about basketball. It is about bringing out the best in the young ladies and teaching them how to work as a team and to respect themselves and each other. This is definitely why I am happy to be part of the program.

I have some players that are going to be on the team that really know how to play this year. There are a couple of players who are going to need same basic coaching to get their skills up to where they need to be. There are a couple of players that just need some coaching to iron out a few kinks. The one thing I don't think needs any work is the positive attitude that all the girls displayed during tryouts.

This should be a fun season.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It usually rubs off.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tough Times Don't Last

No matter how dark things look on a certain day, the day will end and things will get better. Tough times don't last.

Hardly anything is as bad as it seems when it is happening to you.

On bad days, here is a mantra for you ... This too shall pass.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Especially if you can tell they are having one of those days.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

To-Do List

I have a buddy who likes to say The faster I go, the behinder I get. What I think he means by this is he has so many things that he thinks he needs to do, but he has no idea what the tasks are.

To-Do List
The easiest way to procrastinate is to not know where to start. I have a couple of tips for you ...
1.) Make a To-Do list of all the things that you have to do. It really won't take that much time and once it is made, you will really know what you have to get done.
2.) Don't get overwhelmed by your To-Do list. Do a little research and planning so each item on your To-Do list can be started easily.
3,) If you are feeling overwhelmed by your To-Do list, invest a little time to simplify your list. Figure out what really needs to be done today, what can be done easily, and what does not need to be done at all. Getting rid of the things that don't matter will make your list smaller and give you more time to do the things that need to be done.


Stress Reducers

When the tasks on your To-Do list are getting the best of you [there are certain days when it is going to happen no matter how positive you are] here are a couple of ideas to help reduce the stress ...
1.) Take a walk. Exercising can release endorphins which help improve your mood. It is also a good way just to take your mind off the stressing task.
2.) Remember to breath. Yes, breathing is supposed to be a non-thinking action our body does on our own, but when we get stressed, we tend to hold our breath. Thinking about breathing will take your mind off your troublesome task and get your blood flowing again. Once you are breathing again, you will feel better and less stressed and you will be able to get back to task and get it done.
3.) Two-minute tasks. There are bound to be tasks on your To-Do list that take 2 minutes or less to complete. When you need a few minutes away, look at your To-Do list and complete a few of your 2-minute tasks. This not only gets you away from the troublesome task for a few minutes, but it also gets some tasks off your list. You will feel good about getting tasks accomplished so you will be ready to complete the other task.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person might just need some help getting their To-Do list started.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Attitudes & Leadership

I was talking with the varsity basketball coach yesterday during open gym about keeping our youth occupied with sports so they have fewer chances of getting themselves into trouble because when they have too much time on their hands and not enough to do, trouble will probably find them.

Athletes are not exempt from problems. Just turn on ESPN - unfortunately, you will see more athletes getting into all kinds of problems.

Student-athletes, just like any other student, act the way they are taught. If coach, or even the team captain, has bad habits, the rest of the team will soon follow suit.

The following line from the movie Remember the Titans demonstrates this to the T.
Attitude reflect leadership, captain. - Julius

Coaches and leaders, if you want your team to display good sportsmanship, hard work, teamwork and a winning attitude, you have to display these characteristics yourself. Your athletes and followers will demonstrate what they have learned from you. They are a mirror of your attitude and mindset.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It will rub off on them.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones

In life, everything does not go the way you plan it. Life is what actually happens in between your plans. How you handle life's little issues determines whether you get through life or if you enjoy life.

Some people review everything that goes wrong in life as a stumbling block. Everything is a problem when nothing goes right.

If something does not happen today that you were hoping would, don't become negative but think of it as something you get to look forward to tomorrow.

It might not be a bad idea to change your stumbling blocks into stepping stones. When an obstacle gets in your way, consider it a challenge to overcome rather than a stumbling block that got it in your way. Complete the challenge and become a stronger and better person for it. Turn mountains into mole hills, rather than the other way around.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person just might need a little help changing that stumbling block into a stepping stone.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Early and Late Adopters

I have a couple of buddies (Scott and John) who are the epitome of earlier adopters. When the iPhone came out -John was waiting in line. Anything relatively cool in the computer world, Scott will try it out or try to get it - upon wife approval and acceptance. Nothing like being on the leading (or bleeding) edge of technology.

I on the other hand am a relative late adopter. During the late 80s and earlier 90s, man, I tell you I was an earlier adopter. But a company called Microsoft turned me off after having numerous issues and headaches with DOS version 4.0 and 6.0 or any version of software that ended in dot zero.

I am such a late adopter that I personally do not even have a cell phone. Work has one for me, but it is for work. You know, not having a cell phone is not such a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoy going to the beach and not having a signal. I can't hear about what broke or what absolutely needs to be done by tomorrow and I need to do it. The sound of silence (or the sound of crashing waves) is music to my ears.

Don't get me wrong, I would be lost without a computer or some kind of computer device to help keep track of things. But I don't necessarily need the latest greatest thing anymore to make me feel good about myself. I don't always have to keep up with the Joneses.

I have an electronic organizer, but it does not connect to the internet and ping me ever time I have mail. It does not double as a phone. It keeps addresses and phone numbers primarily and what appointments are coming up.

At work, I actually use notebooks and pencils; I may be one of 3 or 4 people who still use wooden pencils that need to be sharpened. This weekend, our computers and computer network are being migrated. Some people were completely lost without being able to use their computers to figure out what needed to be done next. I had my notebook and it contained what I had to do and where I had to go - all was good with the world. Mind you I did have a desktop computer to perform my required tasks on, so I did not have to go through withdrawals.

There is nothing wrong with being an early adopter; I actually encourage people to do it, so I get a finely tuned device or piece of software by the time I am ready to buy it. I don't know if I will be buying a cell phone any time soon, as I kind of enjoy the 1o to 15% of my day that people can't necessarily get a hold of when I am sleeping, commuting or goofing off.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might really need it if they are a really earlier adopter.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Treat People Nicer than They Treat You

I have two favorite quotes from the movie Roadhouse :
"I thought you would be bigger." -Anyone who meets Dalton
"I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice." - Dalton

No matter how someone treats you, you should treat them nice. Treating a person with kindness that treats you like @#$% usually gets the offending person thinking.

1. What is this person smoking, because no one acts nicely after what just happened?
2. This person is strange because no one acts nicely after what just happened.
3. Get me away from this person because (s)he is not normal. Or ...
4. I want what this person has going on in his/her life because no one acts nicely after what just happened.

If you have a positive attitude towards everyone, no matter how they treat you, and treat them nicely, then the world is on its way to becoming a better place.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is as simple as being nice to everyone you meet, no matter how they treat you.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Favorite Places

If I could keep the sand out of my laptop and keep a really good internet connection, I would be at the beach the majority of the time.

The sound of crashing waves on the beach can make me forget about whatever is bothering me. I find it rather mesmerizing to watch a storm come in. There is something relaxing about watching seagulls negotiating the incoming waves as they either relax or look for food while sitting on the water.

What is your favorite place? What makes it your favorite place?

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. If possible, try to do it from your favorite place.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Team Work

I don't care how good you are at doing what you do, you can be even better if you work as a team. It does not matter if it is in a sport or at work or school.

Last night was a basketball night. To start the night, I could not hit the ocean with a rock while standing on the beach. Translation, I was standing underneath the basket by myself and I could not put the ball in the basket. I needed to rely on my teammates to score, because I sure as heck could not do it. As the night progressed, I found my touch and was able to score at will. Then the other team decided that it was a bad idea for me to get the ball and started double and triple teaming me. So I needed to get the ball to my open teammates and they were able to score. This made it so the other team could not triple team me, and I was then able to score again. Without my teammates, we would not have been able to win the games.

I work with some stellar people at my work. There are probably less than a handful of people who are go-to people for just about anything concerning our applications. However, there is a least a googolplex [maybe a slight exaggeration] of great people who know a lot about their particular area of our applications. It is all these people that make the teams at work successful and in turn make the company successful.

Whether it be work or play, it takes team work to make a great team.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as letting the person know how important they are to the team.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Be the Change You Want to See Happen

If you don't like the way something is working or just the way it is, you need to either be willing to offer a possible solution or be willing to work towards a solution. No one likes the bearer of bad news.

It does no good to complain to someone who cannot do anything about it. Likewise it does not do any good to complain to someone who has the authority to make a change without offering a possible solution.

Your boss, lead, wife, et cetera, is going to like you a lot better if you identify the problem and bring a solution or your efforts to brainstorm a solution to the table.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Bring a solution when there was only a problem before.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baby Steps

A baby has to learn to turn over before it can crawl. Then it has to crawl before it can walk. And it must walk before it can run.

I have an amazing grasp of the obvious don't I?

The rest of life runs pretty much in parallel to how babies do things. Breaking bad habits is lot tougher than starting them and it takes baby steps to get to the point you really want to be.

I open the gym at church on Monday nights for the hooligans of the neighborhood. The mission statement of my church for the next few years is Taking Back the Ground. Bringing in the kids from the neighborhood to play basketball is the first baby step of getting them into the church. One of the guys has a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush, but he is working on it. He came by and talked to me towards the end of the night and said that he only cursed twice. He is taking steps to improve. It is a step in the right direction. He also said that he would try to come to church on Sunday with his family. Another step in the right direction.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. If you normally do not, this is your chance to take a baby step in the right direction.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Better than You Found It

Dwayne Wade has a commercial for a car company, Cadillac I think, that shows Dwayne providing a basketball hoop and basketballs to a bunch of kids. He then takes a bicycle out of the vehicle and tosses the keys to the coach and pedals off into the sunset. During the commercial, Dwayne says his purpose is to make the world a better place. This my friends is what it is all about. And it is actually nice to see someone with the means to do it actually do it.

You can start off small, but try making wherever you are better place.

If you are on a team, basketball for example, you might not be the best scorer, but that does not mean you can't make the team better. Become the best rebounder or the best defender. Make the team better than it was before you got there.

At work, no one is irreplaceable, but you should definitely try to make your work place better because you are there. Whether you be a chief architect that makes the place better because of the innovations created while you were there or just an average Joe who has a positive attitude that makes the place enjoyable for 8+ hours, or someone in between, you can strive to make your workplace better.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is one of the many steps to take in making the world a better place.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rules and Guidelines

Rules, rules and more rules. As a kid, you think your parents just make you follow rules to be mean to you. As an adult, you find out the rules you had to follow as a kid pretty much followed you into adulthood.

You always have to follow some kind of rules, no matter who you are.

I have a couple of favorite quotes that relate to rules.

The code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. -
Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

You can bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you're trying to get there. And if you're someone like me, you can't get there without bending the rules. - Tess McGill, Working Girl.

Just remember that rules are generally there for the good of the many. Know what they are wherever you are - if for no other reason than to know when you are bending them or deciding if they are more of a guideline.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person might need some help in figuring out whether or not rule is a rule or guideline.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Anticipation

Remember as a kid, you could not wait for your birthday, Christmas, Friday so you could spend the night at a friend's house?

Then as you got a little older you could not wait until you were 15 so you could get your driver's permit, 16 so you could get your driver's license, 18 so you could be on your own, 21 so you drink. The anticipation for these events felt like it was killing you. Then you finally hit the milestone, and it was seldom as great as you were hoping it would be.

There is nothing wrong with waiting with great anticipation, but don't let the anticipation ruin the journey of getting there or the actual event. And don't let it get the better of you if whatever it is does not happen when you expect it to happen. If it does not happen on a particular day, then you have something to look forward to the next day.

My mom used to always get upset with me because I did not have any patience. She kept telling me to be patient. I would reply, If God meant me to have patients, He would have made me a doctor. My mom never found the humor in it. I digress. Temper anticipation with patience. It will make your life a lot more enjoyable.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person won't be expecting it, so there is no anticipation for the person to have to wait through.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Be a Better ...

Have you ever wished that people would [fill in the blank] you better?

For example, do you want people to treat you better? Start off by trying to treat them better. How about, people respecting you more? Try a little more respect towards them? Or how about, people understanding you better? Again, try a little more understanding towards them.

If you know your boss is busy and stressed on Mondays, then Monday is probably not a good day to ask for a favor. If you are aware of his/her hectic/heltic schedule and make your request on a day that is less stressful, you have a much better chance of getting what you want [obviously within reason] than you would by asking on a stressful Monday. This indirectly shows your boss that you are aware of the busy schedule on Mondays and are not adding another item to the to-think-about pile on a day when there is more to do than there is time in the day.

Listen to people, don't just hear them. You can hear someone speaking, but you can only comprehend what the person is saying by listening to the person. It shows the person respect when you are looking eye-to-eye when either of you is speaking. Don't interrupt the person even if you have figured out the answer to their question. Sometimes just listening to the person talk out the problem will give the person the time they need to resolve the problem on his/her own. Even if the person can't or doesn't resolve the problem on their own, you gave the person respect by listening to them.

Give people what they are asking for [again within reason] rather than something you want. If you give your wife the pro football television package for an anniversary or birthday gift instead of the dinner for two at [pick her favorite restaurant], you are probably not going to get the happy look that you have on your face [unless she really loves football too]. If you had actually listened to her when she was telling you what she would like, rather than just hearing her [her mouth was moving but all you heard was blah blah blah], you would have known what she wanted and you could have had her adoring admiration for the night rather than having to sleep on the couch.

Being observant to the habits of your kids could make a world of difference. If you are always running late because your kids can't find this, or they can't carry that because it is too bulky to carry with their other stuff, then it might behoove you to help make their routine easier. Put the stuff that they are always looking for in a central location. Put that bulky item in the car the night before so they or you don't have to go back for it when you are trying to leave in the morning.

It should not always be what other people need to change to make your life easier.

By helping other people with their tasks or issues it will make your life better in the long run. When they are happy they are less likely to try to make your life not so unhappy.

Knowing the boss's busy day and working around it makes you a better employee which should make you get noticed and the rest should take care of it self. Actually listening to your wife will make her happier which should have immediate rewards of making you happier because she is not yelling at you. Making a better routine for your kids in the morning should pay immediate dividends of not running [as] late in the mornings anymore.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. You will be surprised at how much better it makes your life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anyway

Nike used to have a slogan Just Do It. This is where my slogan begins.

Have you ever held the door open for someone and the person didn't even acknowledge you were there, much less say thank you? Then you ask yourself, why did I even bother?

How about if you are driving in traffic and you can tell someone is trying to get into your lane even though they are not using their indicator and you let them in, and you don't receive even the slightest hand-gesture that would indicate a thank you? And you ask yourself, why did I bother?

Well my dear reader, my slogan is Just do it anyway.

Doing the right thing does not require instant reward or gratification from the person the good deed was done upon. Doing the right thing should be done because it is the right thing to do.

So whether or not a person acknowledges you for doing something nice for them, just do it anyway.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Don't worry about whether or not they say thank you. Just do it anyway.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Enjoy Your Family Time

This past Saturday was one of the best days I have had in a long time.

No, I didn't win the lottery. And no, I did not receive an inheritance from a long, lost uncle which made me a multi-millionaire.

The day started with my wife and I perusing the Farmer's market and listening to some local musicians while consuming a snack.

Then we went home for a bit and our teenage daughter dropped by for a visit to see the parental units for a while. Those of you with teenage kids will appreciate this because once the teenage years come around they would prefer to spend more time with their friends. Now parents, I hope you are sitting down, because you are going to have a hard time believing this one - our daughter actually wanted to be seen in public with us without an ulterior motive. We went to a interior home store and she showed us stuff that we actually liked.

When our daughter was done showing us stuff, she went on her way and my wife and I did a little shopping on our own.

To culminate the day, my wife and I went out for dinner. Our meal and service were both very good. The waiter spent the right amount of time and attention with us and gave us enough personal time to talk about whatever.

Make your family's day and spend some time with them. It will one of the best investments of your time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

U-Turns

Next to not being able to pump my own gas, one of the biggest driving differences that I had to modify in my behavior for was not being allowed to do a u-turn unless it was posted that I could; BTW, there are not very many posted places here.

A u-turn allows you correct a wrong turn and go back in the direction you want or need to go.

God allows u-turns. If you have made mistakes in your life, you can make a u-turn and correct most of them. If for some reason you turned your back on God, God wants you to make a u-turn and get back on the right track.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It might be the u-turn you need to make or be the nudge that someone else needs to get back on the right track.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Are You in Control?

Are you in control of your life?

Most of us like to think we are, but in reality, there is very little that we can control.

For example, can you control how your wife is going to react when you tell her "there are just two more minutes left in the game and then I will take out the trash" and then 45 minutes later the game is still going because the game went into overtime? Answer: Most likely not; you will get the if looks could kill look and who knows what else.

Can you control how your boss is going to feel on the day of your review? Most definitely not. You hope that (s)he is going to be in a good mood, but you never know. The best that you can hope for is that you did your best at work and your efforts will be rewarded.

What you can control, more or less, is yourself. You can't control how people are going to react to you, but you can control how you react to them. If you get mad because someone took your parking spot, the person who did most likely was not conscientiously trying to make you mad, but their action was not what you were expecting and you either conscientiously or sub-conscientiously chose to get mad. You let the other person's action take control of you. You can decide whether or not you want to get mad at something trivial. A lost parking spot is not that big of a deal and definitely not worth getting mad about. Take back control of yourself.

You actually control very little of what happens in life. If you do what God wants you to do with happy heart, life is good because God is in control. It is not such a bad thing to not control everything when you know that God will.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. This is one thing you can control.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11


It has been six years since the world changed as we knew it.

The best thing I can think to commemorate this date in history is to do nice things for people throughout the day. Even if you normally do nice things for people, make sure to be a little more conscientious of it today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Who You Are?

Do you know who you are?

Sometimes it is easier to figure out who you are by who you are not.

I am not a horse jockey and never will be. I think most horses would protest to having a 6'6" jockey riding it around for a 1 and 1/4 mile run.

I am not the world's fastest or strongest man. Just watch me on the basketball court.

I am not the smartest man in the world either. Just ask my wife.

For starters, I do know that I try to work hard and try to care about people and do the right thing the majority of the time. The rest, I try to figure out as necessary.

So, do you know who you are and who you aren't?

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. This act will show people that you are at least a kindhearted person.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mundane

Mundane. Ordinary. Commonplace.

Most of the time people like excitement. They don't care too much for the boring and mundane.

There are certain situations when boring and mundane is just fine. For example, flying on an airplane or having surgery are events that I really hope and pray for ordinary and mundane.

My wife had a procedure done yesterday to remove some infectious fluid from around her pituitary gland. To make a long story short, the procedure/surgery was very mundane. Today she is actually feeling pretty good for the first time in about 8 weeks.

Having a mundane day is not such a bad thing.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as helping them get through a boring day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Attitude

Attitudes are contagious.

Control your attitude so it does not control you.

A good attitude goes a long way.

The more positive your attitude, the better chance positive things are going to happen to you.

I'm a big believer in good begetting good.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Your positive attitude could rub off on that someone.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Clean Up

Doo Doo Happens!

You are not special when it happens to you. You are not not special because it happens to you.

What makes you special is how you clean up after it happens.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might need help cleaning up after it happens to them.

Be a Better Speaker

Know your audience. Make sure that you speak in a language that they understand.

If you are speaking to a computer geek, you can use as many TLAs (Three Letter Scronyms) as you want and the person will probably understand your jargon. But if you are a computer geek and you are trying to talk to your mom about computers, you better speak in a plain language or else you are going to lose her at "Yo." [Pun on "you had me at hello."]

Also, make sure that you don't speak to a rocket scientist like you would your mom. The rocket scientist will be bored beyond tears.

Know your topic. Make sure you don't talk about things you know very little about.

Know when to be serious and when you can be comical. It takes experience.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Share some knowledge with them about something you know a lot about. And speak to them so they can understand and not be bored.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Be a Better Watcher

Most people are content to watch things with their eyes.

"What else would they watch with?" I am glad you asked.

Watching anything requires more than just your eyes. Your ears help you watch my detecting sounds, which in turn causes your eyes to redirect towards where the sound is coming. For example, at a baseball game when you hear the crack of the bat after making contact with the ball, you start looking for the ball.

If you are in a kitchen, the smell of good food can definitely cause your eyes to redirect towards where the good smell is coming.

When you are watching anything, don't just look at what is immediately in front of you, take in the whole atmosphere of where you are. You will enjoy it more.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person will most likely appreciate the fact that you are looking out for him/her.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Be a Better Listener

You will solve far more problems by listening than by talking.

This does not mean that you don't ask questions. This means you need to listen to the answer when you ask a question and/or listen to what is being said as it might answer your question prior to you asking it.

When you listen attentively, you generally know what you need to do for any task you are given and can then complete it in the alloted time, given details are not missing.

By listening, you know what questions you need to ask - and what questions not to ask.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as listening.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But most importantly, do what you say you are going to do.

Actions speak louder than words.

It is better to do something good rather than just talk about it and do nothing.

Your word is your bond. But your actions speak volumes on who you are.

Do rather than just say.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is an action that will speak loudly about you.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Big Fish, Small Bowl

Are you the biggest fish in your bowl? Are you the smartest person in your group? Are you the person that everyone goes to for answers?

You are either very fortunate and you are the smartest person around or you have limited yourself and need to expand your horizons. You've boxed yourself in and set your goals too low.

The boss is not always the smartest person in the group when it comes to knowing everything there is to know. If he is a smart boss, he hired people who are smarter than him in areas that he does not have time to be the expert in.

If you are always the smartest person in your group, please, expand your horizons. Challenge yourself and start associating with experts in your field that are quite possibly smarter than you are. This is the way to make yourself better.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Not only do you help the person, but you help yourself as well because you never know, the person could be an expert in something you are not.

Friday, August 24, 2007

One Step at a Time

We live in a day and age where we expect everything to be fast and ready at our finger tips whenever we want it.

Examples:

  • Fast food drive thru's - we don't even want to get out of our cars.
  • Same day dry cleaners -not only do we not want to clean our own clothes, but we want someone else to clean them today.
  • Computers - no matter how they go, they are never fast enough for us. Back in the day, the computer power that we carry around in a laptop could not even be found in a block full of computers and was slower than anything we have today.
  • 1-Hour photos - What picture is so important that we can't remember what it looked like an hour ago but we really need to remember it.
Sometimes the faster we go, the behinder we get. Just because we try to go faster does not mean we are going to get things done any faster. Generally when we rush, we end up making mistakes and it ends up taking us longer to get the task done.

Take one step at a time and do the job right, and you will be amazed at how much you get done in a reasonable amount of time.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Lending a helping hand might be what that person needs to get the job done right.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Be Proud

When you were little, your parents probably yelled at you to sit up straight and stop slouching. All I knew was that I needed to sit up straight, I had no idea that they were trying to make sure that I presented the image that I was proud of who I was.

Always be proud of who you are.

If there ever is a time that you don't feel proud about yourself, take a look at yourself and determine what you are not proud of and then do what you can to fix it.

Always put your best foot forward.

I would rather do my best at an activity and fail then not try because I thought I thought I couldn't do it.

When you work or when you play, always do your best and you can always be proud.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It will show that person and yourself that you are proud of who you are and you are not afraid to share it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Friends

When I was a little kid, I always had difficulties spelling the word "friend." I was told the best way to remember how to spell it was that a friend is a friend until the end, which is how "friend" ends.

Childhood has come and gone, but this particular lesson sticks with me to this day.

Friends are with you in both good times and bad. They tell you when you are doing well. They also help lift you up when you are not doing so well. They are the people in your life that you are willing to take constructive criticism from to make your life better.

Your friends are your friends no matter where you live or how long it has been since you last saw them.

Remember that friendship is like any relationship; it is a two-way street and it takes both people to make it work.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. You never know, you might end up with a new friend.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Like What You Have For What It Is

Be grateful for what you have. Be happy that it does what it does.

If you have a screwdriver. Don't be disappointed that you don't have a hammer, or wish your screwdriver would work like a hammer.

Like your grandparents used to tell you, "we had nothing and we were happy to have nothing. Other kids were so poor, they could not even afford to have nothing."

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might need the something you have that you wish did something else.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Risk and Reward

For every great reward there is often great risk.

In fantasy football, Randy Moss, is one of the biggest risk/reward veteran players. He has the possibility of putting up huge numbers if he decides to play. If he decides not to play, he could have the stats [42 catches, 553 yards, and 3 TDs] like he did last year with the Oakland Raiders. If you pick Randy in the first two rounds and he repeats last year's stats, you pretty much wasted a pick. But if he puts up stats like he did in 2003 [111 catches, 1632 yards, and 17 TDs] your reward is great. If you don't take him early, some else could. It's all about risk and reward.

Life is the same way. If you want a big reward, you have to be willing to take a risk; make sure the risk does not change your character - see previous post.

If you want things to be different than they are in your life, you are going to have to take some risks. Just remember that when you take a risk, you could get the other end of the stick instead of the rosy one.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The risk is small but the rewards are great.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Character vs.Reputation

Reputation is what people think about you. You cannot directly control this.

Character is who you are. You control who you are, what you do, how you act, and how you react.

If you build your character into what you want it to be, your reputation will take care of itself.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person and your character and reputation will be better for it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Anchors

Anchors can either weigh you down or keep you stable in storm.

Having a negative attitude and carrying grudges around weigh you down and keep you from being successful in life.

Having a positive attitude, a positive outlook and forgiving people will get you through the troubled times of your life and make you stronger in the big picture.

Take a ship in storm. If the captain does not think the can stir his ship through the storm, chances are he won't. On the other hand, if he believes that he can get his ship to a safe port, he probably will.

There will be other times that the captain must set anchor to wait out the storm. If the anchor hooks into the rocks below, the ship will remain stable. If the anchor just sets on top the sand, the ship will sure be set adrift.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. You might be the anchor that someone needs to keep them stable during the storm.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Peace

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything went right, everyone got along, and there was peace and harmony in the world?

If I am going to dream, I am going to dream BIG.

Since I am not in heaven yet, I will have to live in the world we live and make the most of it.

Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Offer them your peace.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Living Life to the Fullest

Live your life to the fullest.

Live your life like you know God loves you.

Live your life expecting God to do good for you.

Thank God for not only the good that you have received, but all the good that you are yet to receive.

Live to grab the brass ring.

The more positive you expect from life, the more you will get.

The more good you do for others, the more good that will be bestowed upon you.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Show them that life is really worth living, not just for existing.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Forgiveness

Forgiving someone is not easy. You might even say that it is unnatural.

It is common to think that forgiveness is for the person that did the wrong.

I contend that it is more for the person that was wronged. It is an incredible burden to carry around holding a debt on someone for something done wrong to you. Not to mention the control that you allow the wronging-person to have over you.

Life would be so much easier if we forgive people. We would not have to worry about trying to get some back; making them pay for what they did to you. You could live your life for the good that happens, rather than worry about the bad that happened in the past.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as forgiving someone. It will make your day as well.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Constantly Changing

The company I work for, CheckFree, was just purchased. Just a few months ago, the company I worked for, Corillian, was purchased by CheckFree.

You always need to give your best no matter what happens. It is a whole lot easier to do your best all the time than it is to only try to do you best when you think someone is watching. So when change comes along, you just keep doing your best and adapt the best you can to the change.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They just might need some help getting through a change in their life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Benefits of Having an Inside Job

Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert, points out numerous flaws about working in the corporate world.

Working in a cube is the butt of many jokes, but I am here to point out some of the benefits of working in a cube in an office.

1. Air conditioning. It is supposed to be 90°+ outside today. I am working inside with air conditioning keeping it a comfortable 72°.
2. Window seats. If you are lucky enough, you get a window seat in an air conditioned building.
3. Heating. During the winter time when it is cold outside, you have a nice heated place to work.
4. Clean restrooms. When you gotta go, you gotta go and it is nice to be able to go in a clean bathroom.
5. Relatively easy access to your co-workers. They are only an email, phone call, IM or yell away.
6. You have a job. 'nuff said.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It should make their day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Are You a Finisher?

There is some commercial where the dad proclaims to be called "The Finisher." The next scenes show him walking from room to room telling his kids to finish their vegetables, finish their homework and finish their chores.

I actually get a good feeling inside when I complete something. It could be something as simple as completing the yard work or as complex as balancing the checkbook.

I am easily entertained and amused, so it does not take a lot to entertain me. I try to appreciate the small accomplishments in life.

Life is too short to take things for granted.

Start things you like. Finish things you start.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. That someone might need help finishing something they started.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Loving What You Do

I went to a presentation on IronRuby by John Lam and Scott Hanselman last night.

John was in Portland, Oregon, giving a presentation at the civic center and made time in his schedule to make another presentation for the Portland Area Dot Net Users Group.

John works for Microsoft in building 41; this means that John knows nothing about the Portland, Oregon area. The reason I mention this because John's ride had complications in locating the presentation site and was a bit late.

While the group was waiting for John to arrive, Scott entertained us by answering or not answering questions, as well as putting on a demonstration of some of the work that he had done in Ruby recently.

Scott's presenting skills are well worth the price of admission; in this case it was free, but it was still worth the time. Scott is full of energy and talks about a thousand miles an hour and took other questions as he was pondering and researching another question. And he actually did a pretty good job of multi-task answering.

John arrived and immediately heckled Scott as if Scott were a bad comedian. And then a quick bantering began about how a computer geek could get lost in the day and age of GPSes. The two acted like they have been friends for eons.

After a brief intermission in order to give John time to set up his computer [an Apple MacBook by the way] and presentation, we were off and running.

The energy that John brought about the product that he was helping develop was incredible.

The day of a computer geek being trapped in a dark room with a computer and geekfood [pizza, Asian food, some high caffeine beverage, and/or anything out of a vending machine] and no human contact are gone. Geekfood is still in, but today's geek must be able to group/customer face, which means speaking to people is a must.

John talked about the good, the bad and the ugly about IronRuby. He did it with such vigor that you could tell that he was not just working for a paycheck. He truly loves what he does; coding and talking about what he does [obviously not giving away any trade secrets].

It is very refreshing to see a couple of individuals who are making the most of work-life by loving what they do.

Like I have said before, if you have to work to make a living, you might as well get paid to do something that you love to do.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as displaying to the world that you love what you do.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Back to Basketball

Four Months

In the grand scheme of life, 4 months is not a long time. When you are recovering from an injury, 4 months feels like an eternity.

Last night was my first real night back playing basketball after a four month hiatus due to me braking my ankle.

I would like to describe my performance as awesome, but that would not be truthful. It was more like rusty, not so good, slow, and you-call-that-defense. I am no spring-chicken any more so it takes me longer to try to do what I used to do effortlessly. Then there are somethings I just can't do any more; my days of dunking the basketball are a distant memory.

There was a girl playing last night that even on a good night for me would have made me look pretty bad. The girl could play.

Even though my play was definitely lacking, it was still a lot of fun. Being able to fellowship with the guys made the night worthwhile.

Enjoy the good times.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just Wait

As a kid, the words "just wait" were never a good thing.

"Just wait till your father gets home."

"I wanna go now. No, just wait."

"I wanna do this now. No, you are just going to have to wait."

"Mom. Mom. Mom." [She is talking on the phone or to someone else.] "Just wait a minute."


Where you were a kid you never wanted to hear that you have to wait. Shoot just ask a Gen-Y person today to wait and you will get the same response as when they were a little kid.

As I have gotten older I have learned that waiting is not such a bad thing and waiting could actually be the best thing to do when you are pondering a dilemma.

For example, today I had 5 hours of meetings scheduled and about 8 hours worth of work to do on top of it. To boot, I had an early in the day deadline to meet for one of my projects.

In order to have time to meet the deadline I arrived early, because one of my meetings fell right into the middle of my testing time. While I was testing, I received a notification that the meeting time was being changed to a different day, so I had more time to test in order to meet my deadline.

I was not sure exactly how I was going to get everything done, but I did not panic and I did what I could and waited for the next event to occur. So, waiting was very beneficial for me.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as telling them to Just Wait.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Change

The only constant in life is change.

The quality of your life is based on how you react to change.

Not all change is bad. Now saying that, all change is not necessarily good. With your life's experience you have to decide what the change is that you are facing - is it a good change, a bad change, or one that really does not directly affect you.

Getting something new is a change. Going somewhere new is a change. Ordering something different at the restaurant is a change.

You never know if you are going to like it unless you try it. I repeat, all change is not bad.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might need it; especially if they are going through a change.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Are You?

There is one piece of advice that I got from my father that I use daily and pass on to other people when asked. Whatever you are going to do in life, make sure that you enjoy it and do the very best you can at doing it.

Life is not always fair.

Some people are good looking, for example, George Clooney, while others are not so much.

Some people are very gifted athletes, such as Jackie Joyner-Kersey and Michael Jordan.

Some people have really nice cars, while others are fortunate enough not to be required to use public transportation.

Don't worry about what other people have or can do.

Be thankful for what you have and can do.

Like The Who sang, who are you?

Make sure that you do your best at whatever it is that you do. Enjoy what you do so you can do your best. And be thankful for all the things you do have.

I am soliciting responses. What do you do for a living? And do you like/love what you do? Are you thankful for all you have?

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. This is your chance to show people who you are and in a positive way make people want what you have because you performed such an act of kindness.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Parental Curses

There are very few things as effective as a parental curse.

What is a parental curse, you ask?

I am glad you asked.

Remember when you were a teenager and you did something that you were not supposed to do and you were told, most likely from your mother, that she hopes that you have children just like you; this way you understand exactly all the pain that you put her through.

Chances are that whatever it was you did, in the grand scheme of things, was not all that bad, but it definitely got on your mom's last nerve. Which brings me to the curse.

If you have children or even a single child, the chances are your child(ren) have done something in life that got on your last nerve. As time passes, whatever that something was, probably does not matter that much, if at all, but you got to feel exactly what your mom was talking about. And you got a child or children just like you were.

The other curse does not affect everyone, but it did affect me. Again if you did something bad and kept at it, your mom probably told you that if you kept it up, she would stick you where the sun does not shine.

By the time I was in eighth grade I was taller than my mom; I didn't think much most of her threats - I was a teenager, I knew everything and I was taller than she was. However, now many years later, I live near Portland, Oregon - where the sun ☼ doesn't shine all that much.



Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They just might need it if they have been afflicted by the parental curse.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sleep is overrated

There never seems to be enough time in the day to what needs to be done.

If there were not the need to:

  • work
  • sleep
  • do chores
I would have plenty of time to do all the things I want to do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What are you waiting for?

There is a saying in the military that goes something like "hurry up and wait."

There are a couple of ways to wait.  One is to wait for something to happen and do nothing in the mean time.  The other is to wait in anticipation and expectation and prepare for whatever it is you are waiting.

An expecting to-be-mother and father generally do not wait until the baby arrives to start getting everything ready for the new arrival.  They start preparing the room, buying or gathering the necessary equipment and items for the baby and friends throw a shower to give the baby the things needed or wanted.

Most of the time, when we are waiting on things we just kind of wait.  We don't do much other than wait for the whatever to arrive.

Imagine how much we could get accomplished if we waited with expectancy on everything.  Instead of hoping that something will arrive, change the thought process to expecting it to arrive and prepare for it in that manner.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness.  It might be something they are not expecting.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th - Part 2


Today is another Friday the 13th. This is beginning to feel like a movie series.

Any day is a good day if you want it to be. Today is no different than any other day, so I proclaim that today, Friday the 13th day of July, 2007, is a good day.

I do not advocate walking under a ladder. There are some superstitions that are just common sense. This is one of them.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They just might need it today.

 

Powered by FeedBurner