Sunday, May 31, 2015

What leads to success?

This question must be bothering me a lot because I woke up very early in the morning thinking about it. Thinking about past success here and there and wondering why there aren't more of them, what is holding me back.

Relating to sports, the perfect swing, the throw, the winning shot, the big save, the extra effort, why doesn't it happen more often? What holds one back?

Fear of winning versus fear of losing? Being good enough versus being great more often than not.

What do others perceive of me? Because of course perception is reality. There are different sign posts for other people to determine achievements in life.

In no particular order:

Job

Money

Career

Education

Home

Car

Friends

Children

Status in the community

Major accomplishments

and so on, feel free to add to the list

The question is nothing to lose sleep over except that I am.

Satisfaction is fleeting, it is like trying to grab a handful of smoke.

If one is lucky, life is a marathon and there is a long way to go.

Ray


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

People's thoughts on religion leave me dumbfounded

Late Sunday night, I had a last minute sale that took a lot of time to finish up and took me 20 minutes past closing before it was done..

While waiting with the customer, one of the managers said something to another, ( I found out it was goodnight in Arabic) and the customer took offense. Her husband was Muslin and she went off on a tirade about being offensive, out of place and disrespectful and so on.
How offended her son would be if he had heard it.  He might only be offended because they taught him to be offended.
Personally I wanted to close the sale and go home.

It wasn't said to her, the translation was no big deal and she looked like a white New Yorker who was wrapped a little to tight.

WTF.

To me it was another example of religion being used as a divisive tool against someone else.
And she went on and on and on..

I wanted to walk away. And leave the sale. Unsold.

Don't look to me for sympathy. Don't try to validate your actions with indignation. I am not buying it.
If everyone kept their religious preferences private what a quiet world it would be.

ray

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The College scam or how the NCAA makes billions and gets players for free!

Okay, maybe just a billion dollars. The March Madness will pull in about a billion dollars this year and the players get nothing.

Student athletes, right.

Growing up we always wondered how the players had time to study, laughed at basket weaving courses and the like. It has gotten worse.

Now for basketball they have a new once and done where in agreement with the NBA they have to stay in school for one year before moving on. In reality most will not play anymore. They, like Mungo "only pawn in life."

The highest pay goes to the coaches some a million, some ten million while the players live on ramen noodles.

The NCAA gets a nod nod wink wink to it all because schools have hitched their financial success on the almighty sports dollar and the TV money that keeps rolling in to their coffers.

College sports is an addiction that many can not out grow. For others it is a reprieve from the fact that done right a college education will support and nurture you for a lifetime, but man, it's hard work.

Either way the madness is almost done and then it is back to the reality grind.

enjoy.

ray

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Miracle on Ice or how my love of hockey faded away

I have not followed hockey for many years and yet I grew up in Chicago, home of the Blackhawks and my early years and well into my twenties, my love of the game was insatiable. And it all faded away.

Why?

I was watching a documentary on the Russian team and their point of view on losing to the USA team in 1980, a huge upset. Honestly, if they played one hundred times more, the USA team would have lost one hundred times. Their team concept of play, speed, strength, passing, shot making ability was next to none. If they played full time in the NHL, they would have been multiple Stanley Cup champions. They were that good.

By then the NHl had developed into a game of thuggery, where fights were a constant. Every team needed an enforcer to protect the star players. Sometimes fights would break out right at the beginning of the game and they hadn't dropped the puck yet.

A game that was a showcase for considerable skills on ice was a game had become boring and predictable and like a jilted lover, I walked away and never looked back.

This was from a guy whose ear was glued to the radio listening to the away games, who yelled at the TV so loud, Mom came downstairs to see who I was talking to, who once got so mad at an outcome of a game that I broke the on-off switch with my hand in frustration. This is from a guy who along with others would travel for hours to play at 4:00 am in the morning in an enclosed arena where we would rent the ice to play like our heroes as opposed to bringing a shovel to the park to help clear the ice so we could play.

This is from a guy, like others loved to hit and knock people down, who were respected for our relentlessness effort of our play, whose shoulders still hurt from knocking into people wearing full equipment and pads while we just wore a jersey. yep, the Chicago way. This from a guy who had great stick handling skills but limited skating skills who became a goaltender because that is what crazy people did.

and walked away from it all, till this day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

3 Storeys in Each Day, China's New Normal


It is not just the speed of the building going on 
but the planning and the precision of the building
that most impresses me.
The next time you have a remodeling job going on 
and it seems to take forever, remember this video.
and laugh.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Maybe, Just maybe let sleeping golf balls lie

My story starts with an overcast day, a little bit of rain and an offer of free golf and beer. After a morning of working at my daughter's house I had a late tee time of 2:06 last Friday.

I was already tired and normally don't play so late in the day because of the heat and darkness factor, but what the heck, exception time.

It was a first time for me at this course and did not know what to expect. I met my friend from work and off we went. For such a late start time the course was full and the race against the clock was not looking good. We added on a third which was not uncommon but in a rare occurrence he was a pain and would not play with him again. But that is a story for another time.

Being that I had not swung a club since mid November of 2014 I was a bit anxious but I hit it nicely
down the center of the fairway and off we went. In fact I was pleased with most of the front nine ball striking and we were having fun.

And then the trouble began on the back nine.

First the rain came, lasted for a couple of holes. But we play golf and rain won't stop us. Then after one swing I felt my left knee give way and knew that it would cause me problems later on and as expected it began to stiffen.

Then a shot of mine rolled down the slope and stopped just on the edge of the water. It was not playable and I was to pick it up, take a penalty stroke and continue on.

And the I saw it. A brand new, pristine golf ball sitting by its self within reach, a new golf ball for the taking. And even though I had stopped fishing for golf balls many years ago, what the heck. And after a few attempts out popped the ball on to dry land and then it happened.

Reaching down to pick it up I felt myself start to lose balance. Sensing the inevitable I tried to at least to try not to get hurt. First the right foot, than the left, both hands in, down to my knees and hands, scraping my left knee in the process. I arose from the water sheepishly and trudged back to my playing partner who was laughing hysterically. Luckily he did not get it on his camera phone. Splish , splosh. We ended our outing soon after, I was no longer in the mood. I left for the day to lick my wounds and to dry out.

The next day on arriving at work, everyone took their turn asking me about my swimming lessons on the golf course. Sigh... All in good fun.

and yes, I did keep the golf ball. Thankfully an alligator did not show up!

coffee time
achy ray


Sunday, January 25, 2015

RJ's deep thoughts 1-25-15 edition

Anything controversial going on, must we add "gate" to it? That is so Nixon era, boring!

I don't think "GOD" meant for religion to be so destructive toward people and yet death continues to be an overachiever. 

It appears that the economy of China is finally winding down after a 28 year run.  But what do most people think of the products made in China? Cheap, and dangerous junk.

Japan went through the same thing in the 70's and 80's.  Now they give us Lexus instead.

Made in Africa will be on the lips of everyone in the years to come.

Climate change continues to happen and many will deny it right until the very end.

There are so many company founders reaching multi-millionaire status as of late, it is starting to remind me of the dot.com bubble era.

On the plus side, many unique ideas are reaching the market at warp speed.They are pushing the envelope and upsetting the apple cart of heavily entrenched businesses.

If you took away credit cards, the economy would come to a screeching halt.

Many markets around the world are in constant turmoil because paper money has no value.

The richest 1% in the world are in Davos this last week. Pleasure mixed with business as they work out the details on what they are doing next with our money.

Many still have hopes of being part of that group. Chances are slim and nonexistent.

The next space race is not to the moon but to Mars. And if Martians do exist, they will say when we show up "There goes the neighborhood!"

There is a dire need to rebuild the infrastructure in the USA. There will be a record number of bridge and highway failures and the end result will be a lot of hand wringing  and finger pointing and nothing will get done.

The electrical grid system has needed an overhaul for the last 40 years. It is weak and inefficient and susceptible to massive failure. If it where to go out, within a week, there would be massive riots, fights over food and water and preppers would be happy.

Netfix has a documentary called "The United States of Secrets" I suggest you watch it and then hide under your bed! 

coffee time 

ray


Friday, January 2, 2015

Like a bad movie, the calendar pages are ripping of the wall

It's true. This last year was the fastest ever of my life. I suspect age has something to do wit it. And work. Sales is a constant blur, a harsh taskmaster and never ending.
Daily sales, weekly sales, monthly sales, yearly sales. A sprint and a marathon all in one.

It maybe my work week being in retail and all.

I work
Sunday 10-8
Monday 1-9:40
Tuesday 9:30- 9:40
Wednesday off
Thursday 9:30-5:00
Friday off
Saturday 9:00-9:40
much longer days during holiday season

and the it starts again

I am in survival mode. Like an aging athlete getting the call to come off the bench into the big game, I am doing what I can.
Just slow down the clock, would you?

tired ancient Ray

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