Friday, November 30, 2012

The battle against adversity is not all it's cracked up to be

I have had dry spells before in my life, nothing like this. Compliments continue to roll in, great work ethic, fun to be with, great attitude, and yes charming but compliments do not pay the bills. Victory seems to be eluding my grasp at the moment. I keep falling just short of the brass ring.

I must admit I am getting bolder on who I see or approach out there in the business world. Everyone and everything is fair game to me. I have now built into myself to call back again and again until they say no to me.
And that is all well and good.

But the buzzards are circling. Working straight commission is a lonely road to walk alone. People wonder how you can do it. Lots of head shaking.  And the always at hand question, "Any sales?"

To be fair about it all, there is five levels or so to master on this job before you are totally on your own. Different approaches to business people, different presentations to employers, how to present to employees ( which I am watching and learning from other agents ) and the paperwork and follow up, all to be totally on my own. But there are fellow agents with more experience to help with the details. I am grateful to them all and their efforts. I long to do it all on my own.

But come on!

I am not just knocking on the door I am kicking it in. I will say this, next week is crucial. I have some big days in motion.

Universe, are you listening? Let me win, now!

I will have a large cup of coffee right after I pick up my Superman suit from the dry cleaners!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

I always say, most people in Chicago don't eat the stuff, Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago may have invented it but most don't eat deep dish pizza. We like a thin crust pizza, with sausage, not pepperoni, and it will usually have mushrooms, onions and peppers. Basic stuff.We don't cut it in slices that you have to fold to eat, they are cut into three inch by two inch pieces. The cheese goes on top, not on the bottom.
Chicago rules.

side note. I was in a pizza place yesterday, a guy comes in, orders a slice of pepperoni pizza. The counter guy take a cold slice of pizza, adds some meat, warms it up, and there is your pizza? gagging!

Chicagoans are very proud of its food heritage. The link below takes you on a quick tour of some of the highlights of the city. How we do our hot dogs, beef sandwiches and of course pizza. In one part of the show, in a bar, the patrons were asked "who eats deep dish pizza?" Only a few hands were raised, one mentioned he would eat it only if he had out of town guests. There are thousands of bars and thousands more food places. We love the basics and the trendy stuff, most will take a pass. I would love to take any of you on a tour of Chicago. I think you would fall in love. Enough venting. Time for a dipped beef sandwich, oh I do wish it was so.

               48 Hours in Chicago                            

coffee time


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Puttering around the blog

Somedays you take a look and realize it is time for a change, Unlike life and social intercourse it is easy to make changes on one's blog. Easy and not easy. There are many different combinations now a days, add this, tweak that, trying for that certain look you know is out there, like baby bear, just right.

And you change.

and change.

and change.


and a day or two later.


and change.


So many changes, sometimes I wonder if it goes full circle and I am back to where I started.

And being I see it everyday it will bug me until it feels right. This blog is more functional and basic, while my art and music blogs are more whimsical I guess, more fun.

Structure is sometimes more satisfying. But it is not daring at all.

Back to reading what others have written, right where I left it!

I can be boring I know.

coffee or tea, my next decision.

how about both?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Football is a dying sport, check your local listings

Much like the Roman gladiators and the Coliseum, football as we know it will be going away. No way any mom in her right mind will let her son play football with equipment and a helmet. Touch football and flag foot ball I think will continue. Granted the medical exams and the monitoring has greatly improved over the last few years to the point that they know, yep, your messed up. They do a brain scan at the beginning of the season so they have a base line to go by. It is that serious.

Players exercise all the time to make themselves bigger and stronger but you can't do anything for the brain and the head.

Oh it will be missed though. The oohs and aahs that a hard hitting play would bring from the lips. And we would wonder in amazement how the players would manage to get up and walk away from it all. Come to think of it, we wondered about ourselves some times when we played. And now we know. Players die too young, or crippled for life,
And sadly, some even taking their own lives. Many have resorted to heavy drug use as a coping mechanism just to get through the day. Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants used cocaine during the game while playing. The equivalent of using a whip on a horse to run faster during a race. One watches in amazement the artistry and the unbelievable plays seemingly without thinking that happen in every game one watches. Awestruck!

Injuries are part of any game. Even golf, a non-contact sport, players blow out knees and backs, So no one is immune. Injuries are part of life. But in life head trauma is, thankfully, a rare thing.

Yes, I will miss it. It has been part of the culture and my life seemingly forever as with all sports that I grew up with. Change is inevitable.

and now it is time to suit up for a full contact cup of coffee!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Godfather And The Mob

I admit to having a huge fascination with The Godfather. Not the working of the mob but the great effort of the telling of the story of an immigrant family and how their lives evolve. You have to go past just them but to their life back in Italy which shaped future events. The book its self was the result of the aftermath of two previous writing failures by the author. The video goes into great detail how difficult it was to make the movie on the streets of New York. There are many stories on the making of the movie, this is one of them.

morning coffee time


Friday, November 23, 2012

I highly recommend the low key Thanksgiving

Rule one
Make sure you have had plenty of time to thaw out the turkey. Butterball has a hotline for people who find it difficult to cook a turkey. It is not, but I am guessing a frozen turkey is the biggest problem. This was my 32 family turkey done by me and once again it came out very tasty, It was a 21 lb turkey that took about 4 1/2 hours at 325 degrees to cook it just right.

Make sure the bag of giblets ( neck bone, gizzard, heart, liver) is removed before you place it in the oven. I through that in a pot, simmer in water and eat that myself. The liver I gave to the dogs.

Don't stuff the turkey, do that separately can affect the cooking time and I think dry out the turkey. I season the outside of the turkey and and baste it with butter a few times and and later just use the pan drippings. When it was done, I could have cut the turkey with a spoon, yep, that tender and juicy. Loved by all.

Rule two
Decide what side dishes you will have and shop ahead of time, this way there is no substitutions on the ingredients and do them first, this way no worries on the use of the oven, Worked real well this time around.

Rule three
Company. Tough call. We have gotten away from the the big family gatherings. The peace and quiet, for the most part, was worth it. eating at home, not missing leftovers, is a nice feeling. Clean up was easy. Time spent with my children was nice, one however was working a lot of overtime and couldn't be there.

Rule four
Yep, football. It does help to have a nice size TV and very entertaining games on all day. I did not get the usual tired and sleepy during the games and each one was fun to watch. And then off to bed. I am not that much of a shopper and the frenzy of early morning goody run was not appealing. Plus I do have to be out and about today. Being this is my first time as an agent today should be an interesting day.

There you have it, my basic stuff of a nice holiday.

Brought to you by a nice glass of egg nog!
and of course coffee!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just imagine if no one shopped on Black Friday

There would be panic in the streets. The world is doomed. The business channels would be frothing at the mouth. Talking heads would be doing charts trying to figure out what happened. Families would enjoy the day off. The malls empty as people would realize they are too poor to buy the latest gadget.

Ain't gonna happen is it?

just a holiday thought.


holiday beer time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Be kind to the wee retail folk this Friday please

I don't have any part of the retail scene this Friday though I will be making sales calls my self, getting business doesn't stop. But the onslaught of many a big box retailer on the workers will begin. Many will have Black Friday start on Thanksgiving evening. The workers are robbed of even this one simple day with their family this year. Some how they are convinced that they must feed the ravenous appetite of the shopper who will not rest until they have the latest and of course the cheapest gadget.

But at what cost?

Many credit cards will be at the bursting stage with debt that that will linger long after the glow of the Christmas presents will fade away.

Some will wonder why they are standing in line in the early morning hours when others are sleeping content to pick up a bauble or two at their leisure. Each year the shopping season makes less and less sense to me. I find it easier to resist the siren calls of the ads on TV, print and of course online that we are inundated with during our waking moments.

Some of them I find amusing especially the ads that show a husband or wife giving one another a car for Christmas. Ah yes, the gift that keeps on giving, monthly payments for 6 years or so.

But I know it is just me, Scrooge McDuck, not in the spirit of buying. Or is it giving. It is hard to tell this time of year.

morning coffee time

bah humbug!


Monday, November 19, 2012

A dream of survival

I woke up to from to me, an interesting dream, A two part dream actually. Somehow I was on a ladder and two of the legs broke off and tumbling down I went, but I was okay. Then it segued to another, I appeared to be on a cliff, somewhere along an ocean. I was standing this time and suddenly a huge chunk of the cliff that I was standing on broke free and it and me went falling. I had my eyes closed as I didn't want to see the end. As a result it seemed to take forever to reach the bottom. But I survived somehow and got up and walked away. I then was talking with someone and pointing out what had happened and then I woke up.


Personal life, work life, I don't know but it was vivid enough to remember some details but not all of it. The conversations I can't remember damn it!

A puzzle that somehow will work its self out.

a big coffee and tea to mull things over.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving might be the perfect holiday

It is a day that revolves around food, family, friends, and football. No presents, no shopping except for meal preparations of course. Expectations are basic. Enough to eat, enough to drink and somewhere to stretch out and watch the game. It is hoped that whoever is invited to dinner will enjoy themselves. We used to exchange holiday visits, go there for Thanksgiving and come here for Christmas but things got a bit strained and that has fallen by the wayside. All for the better I think. It truly is a day for relaxation instead. No driving home with a big belly full of food and driving with tired eyes.

However there is always a spoiler lurking in the background. Black Friday, the day retailers across the country try to convince you to come in on that day to buy stuff you don't need when all year long you would drive by when you saw their place of business. It is great fun to watch people gloat that they got that great deal in which they had to camp out all night to get, racing out of the store, clutching it to their bosom, proudly proclaiming their victory!

Not me. And now that I am out of the retail cycle and didn't have to listen to the early seasonal songs and lights and such and have the crush of holiday sales that make or break a store and concern myself with my own sales goals, maybe the holidays might mean more, once again. But that will take time. The family is older now so the early morning childlike happiness has passed. But Christmas time is for another post.

Time soon for some basic stuff, wash and wax my truck, finish cutting the grass, take a look at the garage door which stopped going up and down and maybe some football later on today.

time for Sunday morning coffee
and an afternoon beer


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Climate Change = Extinction and we are next!

We may delay it but it will happen. Most of us still living will be in big trouble when it happens. There is no stopping it. I read somewhere that 95% of all living beings have disappeared over time. We will part of that or close to it. The human lifestyle has sped things up but the natural warming-ice age cycles happen.

Yellowstone part has a lava cauldron waiting to explode, based on estimates, it is 30,000 years late. Impacts from outer space can and still happen. The sun goes through cycles too and a gamma ray burst hitting us will be devastating. They have found that the north and south poles can switch, how quickly I don't remember. Earthquakes, hurricanes and so on will continue to devastate.

The earth however will survive, however people won't. We think we can control everything, but we can't.

What to do? Get drunk, get laid and tomorrow repeat. Be happy!

beer time


Thursday, November 15, 2012

another birthday, yep, 60...sigh

The older I get the younger everyone appears, part of the continual aging process I guess. The women sure look younger, that is for sure.

I don't feel I have lived up to my potential but maybe, just maybe I have. Maybe this is as good as it gets, the most successful I will be as a man, a husband, a father, a person.  Is it enough? I don't think so. If they are keeping score I don't think I have accomplished all that much.

I am struggling on my new job, I know that is part of it. Numbers as in cash, as in sales is what it is all about. I am still determined to make it and have my break through, but when I wonder, my resilient shrug it off attitude is taking a beating. The bills are piling up. I try to shrug off the pressure. Be stoic, isn't that what a man should be? But I see others doing well and I wonder.

I know that having a birthday beats the alternative, I understand. But the birthdays sure come faster don't they?

Maybe, just maybe, someday...

a morning coffee and an evening beer
happy birthday to me


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You do realize those are my balls you are playing with?

Golf balls! Golf balls! lol

I took off a few days last week as a friend flew down from Chicago for a few days and we played a few rounds of golf, caught up with each other on the daily going ons and if I remember correctly had a few beers! Okay, more then a few.

The weather somewhat cooperated, chilly and windy but no rain. We golfed at a new place, for him, and an old favorite. We had a good time. We even took a beer into the ocean, with pictures, just to prove that the ocean was there.

He tries to come down once a year for a few days, which I greatly appreciate but I wonder for how much longer. It is true that things start to breakdown as we get older, and he has many aches and pains, so many that I wondered if golf would be out of the question. He wondered too. I hate to say it but he was looking frail at times, enough so that I felt strong and youthful in comparison. Well, for the most part anyway

As a side note though, I noticed a stronger divergence on our personal viewpoints on politics and the world stage at large, some worth discussing but mostly a nod here or there, not in agreement but to acknowledge a point or two. But we have know each other for over forty years now so that is okay.

Work has been tiring and not yet fruitful but I continue to plug away and success will succumb to my efforts. It has to, or I will put a death grip on it until it yields.

quick coffee time
early networking meeting
rather be golfing!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The missing 1% is me

If you noticed the election tallies, Obama had 50%, and Rommney had 49% of the popular vote. What about the missing one percent?

I was part of the population that had voted for someone else. I know that some will say it was a wasted vote. I think not. I have been disappointed with the results of  the last four years. Who I voted for doesn't matter but it was a  conscience decision  on my part.

Promises are made to be broken and I am never surprised with the results. It is not the headline stuff that everyone points at but the low key moves that threaten us all, many that I have talked about before.

I have not told family or friends about my vote this past election, they would not understand, but I am truly part of the 1% now. Two strong party choices are no longer enough in my eyes.

How many more elections will I be around for, I don't know but I can see myself doing it again.

One has to do what one has to do.

beer time


Sunday, November 4, 2012

When it comes down to it, the differences are few

Most politicians are owned by others. You know that right? No one reads the bills that are voted on to become law, right? It is not what you think. It really is Mr. Smith goes to Washington all over again. I am not saying some go into politics with good intentions, but it rarely lasts. I don't care what party, that is just the way it is.

Lobbyists got their name during the time of President Grant when they would gather around him trying to get something from him in the lobby of the local hotel. They write the bills in their favor and quickly corrupt new politicians who want to stay in office for a long time.

There are more than two choices for president. You knew that too, right? Oh then there would be homework and thinking and reasoning to cast a vote. Too much work.

I don't know how far back one would have to go to see what promises were kept during a campaign. None that I can remember.

You have one hundred senators and 400 plus congressman who all have their own agendas and they vote the way they think will get them elected again and again.

Most people vote on who they like and who sounds better to them. Substance doesn't count. The only thing that matters is what is in it for me. I am no exception.

Our country is broke. We have internment camps waiting for us. Martial law is in the wings. Drones fly over head, I am not making this up.

You have old rich men telling you what to do but is most important is getting the newest phone that will tell all about you to the world.

All this makes me somewhat sad. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Not really. And don't get me started about the love for war. That is for another post.

time for a few cold ones on this Sunday afternoon.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Post 1,000 a milestone of sorts

It is now over three years I have been writing and now this is post 1,000. I am happy to say that I plan on doing this for many more years, a chance to get up on my soap box and be heard. I want to thank all that comment or stop by. It makes me happy. Now onward and upward. The following was borrowed from Running Cause I Can't  Fly.


"A Look to the Heavens"

“Described as a "dusty curtain" or "ghostly apparition", mysterious reflection nebula VdB 152 really is very faint. Far from your neighborhood on this Halloween Night, the cosmic phantom is nearly 1,400 light-years away. Also catalogued as Ced 201, it lies along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. 
Click image for larger size.
Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving parts of the nebula a characteristic blue color. Ultraviolet light from the star is also thought to cause a dim reddish luminescence in the nebular dust. Though stars do form in molecular clouds, this star seems to have only accidentally wandered into the area, as its measured velocity through space is very different from the cloud's velocity. This deep telescopic image of the region spans about 7 light-years.”

"The Essential Thing..."

"The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. 
The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
- Pierre de Courbertin

coffee time


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Honey, I am tired of hurricanes, let's move to Florida

Isn't Florida the land of the hurricane landfall? Not since 2005 and Hurricane Wilma (which one of our rescue beagles was named after) hit us. Yep, seven years  since then, not that we are complaining.

Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 we have learned a lot, mostly how to prepare and what to expect. Shutters, provisions and such. Not all of us (I sure have) but many of us. 

Most people don't understand how large a hurricane can be. Sandy was over 1,000 mile wide! All they see is that spinning arrow on the map on the weather channel and think what's the big deal. 

And then there is the power outages which can last for a few weeks. Lack of food, water, medicine, baby stuff etc. Traffic lights out (hate that the most) and gasp, no TV! Most will shrug it off and say it is once in a lifetime, won't happen again. They are wrong. It will happen again and they won't be prepared next time either. 

I am sure many people are impatiently waiting for things to get back to normal, fix the damages, restore power, and such.  This is the new normal and you might as well get used to it. Evacuate? How do you evacuate New York city? You can't.

So to the people hit by Sandy, we feel sorry for you. To the ones that laughed at New Orleans or Texas, or Florida, or Cuba, or any of the islands that go through this, still laughing? Still think it is easy to move out of the way? Still thinking it is no big deal? I didn't think so. We feel for you but you will survive, somehow.

coffee time



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