A friend of mine sent this to me. Its kinda cool. It's amazing how many songs I have fogotten from the early 60's. I'm thinking it's mostly because I wanted to. The same can be said for a lot of these years...
I enjoyed the weather today including the heavy rains we got around 4:00 P.M. The area is in desperate need of rain so I was happy to see it. It was quite relaxing to sit under the covered portion of the lanai, listening to music with the rain in the background.
One more day and then it's back to the rudeness we call Winter. Cold, gray, blustery, damp....yuk. If you say you like it, you are making the best of a bad situation. I have done it for years. I have lost the energy to pretend I like the weather, I don't. I hate it. End of discussion.
There are good things about being back up north so I will concentrate on those things. I hope I get to spend some time with my kids and get some things done at work.
Well I blew the NaBloPoMo thing Friday. It was a combination of a somewhat busy day, internet service that was kind of flaky and brain damage. We had a party in the evening and when we returned I just plain went to bed. I was bummed when I awoke and realized that I messed up so late in the game. I gave it a good try as evidenced by my schlepping my computer from place to place. I guess I like the contest because of the pressure it puts on me to write something. Oh well I'll try again next year.
I will try to keep writing a little more frequently than usual. Thanks to those that read my rantings.
Jim, Jen and Eric are heading home today. It was fun having them here with us. I wish they could stay a little longer but it's not to be. M & I are coming home Tuesday night. I will be the one that's kicking and screaming. This weather here is really easy on my body and being able to play golf is good for my psyche. I cannot tell a lie, I love the weather here.
Yesterday was the rant today a list of some of the things I am grateful for
I give thanks for:
the love of my children; how much I love them and the love I get from them.
the love of my wife; how much I love her and the love she returns to me.
all the people I can call friend.
the good fortune that has smiled upon me and my family.
my extended family; we have crazies and I love them anyway.
the overall health of all those in my life.
being born an American. I love this country and I think I understand how special this place is.
those that have given of themselves to preserve this country.
the talents that have been bestowed upon me.
the great turkey dinner I had today and the great turkey sandwiches I will surely eat tomorrow.
realizing my love for music. It is icing on the cake for me.
having the fortitude (read lack of brains!) that pushed me to start my own business 20 years ago. We have run our business how we wanted to run it and have developed a reputation in our business second to none.
my wonderful staff. They are my other family and I love them for all that they have done for me.
being blessed with a sense of humor and being an optimist most of the time.
I will end this as I did last year by imploring my readers to resolve to do something charitable on a regular basis. It is our responsibility to help those who need help. Not for what you expect to receive in return but because it's the right thing to do. To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.
This is my second annual Anti-Thanksgiving post. My daughter A came up with this idea and I like it.
I am not thankful for:
war - The USA has been involved in too many of these damn things. I know it's considered naive to think that wars will just disappear but if we don't work toward ending them for all time, it will never happen. As John Lennon said "imagine all the people living life in peace". I like to imagine that. Instead of spending all that military money we could spend it on taking care of each other...
my digestive system - plain and simple it's broken and those that are supposed to know how to fix these things are clueless.
United Airlines - once good, my hometown airline has now crossed over into a company that has lost sight of what it is they do. From what I see now they mistreat their passengers and don't care if they do. My opinion; but I have been mistreated just about every time recently. I used to fly them a lot; United you had me and you lost me.
that people in this world are still starving - Can't we figure this out?
the stranglehold that the oil business has on the world - the guys below should be helping with this; not helping themselves. We need to kick this habit and we had better accept the challenge and get it done. I have faith in the American people; it's our politicians that are holding us back.
politicians - Do something for us; not for yourself, the special interests that own you or for your damn party. Make this country better or get the hell out. Please!
people that aren't generous with the less fortunate - Find a local reputable food bank and feed some of your neighbors. There but for the grace of god...
greedy people - see above...money is a better slave than master
terrorists - having no remorse for killing people is brutal. It's uncivilized.
mean people - relax, be nice, there's no need to be nasty
the punks that stole my guitars - I can't believe that I have never heard a peep from the local police department. They caught one of the suspected kids wearing my watch for god sakes. I have not heard from them since May.
the celebrity culture - Who really gives a damn about the personal life of Brittany, JLo, Brad, Angela, and so on and so on? Leave them alone, they're human. Would you want all your personal foibles, real and fabricated, broadcast to the world? I think not. Take all the energy given to the pursuit of this crap and turn it for something useful. Just don't get rid of the ridiculous rags that you buy in the checkout line at the grocery store. Those are comic books anyway. OK so this rant is a little mixed up.
Heather Mills - go away, leave him alone. I don't care about you one iota. You married a legend and you cannot undo any part of that. It's bigger than you and, in fact, it's bigger than him.
religious zealots - religion is like silk underwear. If you are wearing it and are comfortable, good for you. If you wear it on your sleeve, it's not going to look very good and I really don't care to see it. I'll choose my undies (or not); you choose yours.
That was kind of fun...tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to sharing those things I am thankful for.
We made it down to Florida. Happy to be in the warmth. When we left Chicago this morning it was cool and dreary; arrived in Florida to sunshine and 80+ degrees. I like it.
Unfortunately, the pool is not working right. The heat pump is not pumping heat so the water is a chilly 73 degrees. That will not do it. Hopefully I can get the service people out here tomorrow so that we can use the pool this weekend.
My body clock is our of kilter. From Vegas to here in the matter of a couple of days is tough. I feel incredibly tired. Getting this post in is a major effort. Hence, the drivel...
I did write down every tune that came up on my iPod while listening on the flight but I'm too tired to list them. I will do that; just not now. I need to lay my head down and slip through sleep's dark and silent gate. Soon. Very Soon.
1. Are there any songs that you dread hearing because it will get stuck in your head and you can't shake it?
2. Can you share a favorite Christmas memory or two?
3. This is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This is a quote from the show Northern exposure "Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don't necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk." Which one can you relate to? Both?
4. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?
5. Do you understand the fascination that some people have with horror movies?
Today is our travel day. I am going to lose access to the internet sometime around noon and we don't get home until around midnight, so this post is coming to you pre-caffeine.
I am tired of Vegas and ready to be home. It's loud here and it's dry here.
The people watching has been enjoyable as usual. The way some of these people dress is remarkable so I will remark about it. There are a lot of women here that haven't mastered the knack of keeping their breasts inside their clothing. Some women can't seem to find dresses that actually cover their asses. One woman had less material in her clothing than on her purse. Some of it looks ok but mostly it looks cheap to me. With the men here the wackiness usually shows up in their hair. I'm really sorry that I didn't keep my full head of hair long enough to go for the spikey, dirty, ponytail mohawk look.
Well, I have to pack and get ready to check out of here and then wait around until 5ish to get back to home sweet home.
Last night was pretty much fun. First we had dinner at IlMulino which I will give 4 stars. I'm taking a star away because it was a bit loud in there which makes conversation a little tough when you have a table for eight. I am not very tolerant of loud restaurants anymore. As loud as Vegas is it would have been nice if this place had better acoustics. Aside from that the food was delicious. When you sit down they give each diner a delicious little chunk of Parmesan cheese, some salami and a plate of marinated zucchini that was heavily laced with garlic. Very nice start. Michelle and I split a caprese salad with some prosciutto for our first course. I ordered a special of Dover Sole which was not quite as good as this dish at Nicks in Chicago but it was still very very good. Everyone enjoyed their entrees, Michelle had Veal Marsala and two of the folks at the table had veal parmesan which was uniquely prepared. The other entree that was to die for was lobster ravioli with a really nice light tomato sauce. I was glad I didn't overstuff myself. One other note on the restaurant...$$$$$$$.
After dinner we waddled over to the Mirage to see the 10:00 P.M. showing of Love. The show was great. Great music, great staging, great acrobatics and a lot of great dancing. I would like to put the sound system in the theater on my Christmas List. It's my favorite Cirque show because I love the soundtrack (duh!). I recommend it to all Beatle fans, rock fans and those that like to leave a show with a smile on their face.
Today is Michelle's birthday so we watched her beloved Michigan Wolverines play some really ugly football. She spent the balance of the afternoon at the Spa being pampered...in fact, she went at 2:00 P.M. and hasn't returned as of 5:30. I watched some more football and gambled a bit and had some success I might add. Winning money is as fun as it is rare here in Loon Town.
We are planning to have another nice dinner for M's birthday if she ever returns. Bye for now!
Day two in the war zone they call Las Vegas wages on. I started the morning with a back spasm that almost put me on my knees. I'll chalk it up to a strange bed in a strange place. It's still sore so it was one hell of a spasm. Aging gracefully? I think not.
Not much luck with the gambling today so far, which I have come to expect. I rarely talk to people that win here. Looking around the casinos don't seem to be lacking funds. My advice is don't gamble with money you ever hope to see again. If you get to keep it for a little while you are ahead of the game.
I sat at a blackjack table today and a nicely dressed Asian gentleman sat down and began betting the table maximum $5000. He wagered $15,000 on one hand and the dealer made a 5 card 21 to beat him. He was at the table for about 25 minutes and lost at least $40,000. I played there for and hour and a half and broke even. All my bets combined are not close to $5,000. Some people have more money than they know what to do with.
My new blackberry has a bad habit of calling people when I sit down and have in on my belt. I am going to try the Keyboard Lock so I don't wake up my speed dial folks by mistake.
Gotta get ready for dinner. Going out to a nice Italian restaurant tonight and then going to the 10:00P.M. performance of Love. I am so looking forward to a night of high quality Beatles music. It will be a nice respite from this loony bin.
We made it to Vegas without a hitch. Airplane on time, hotel reservations actually reserved...
This is kind of a transition day...two hour time change and the traveling will render me useless in an hour or so. That's about the time we have to be at dinner with our clients. They are old friends so there is not a lot of pressure but it will be interesting.
The weather is nice here and the casinos are awaiting my arrival or should I say the arrival of my hard earned money. Unfortunately for the casinos, I will not leave them much. Looking forward to seeing Love tomorrow and watching some football games here on Saturday.
One of my regular visitors gave me my first blog award. It's the "Be the Blog" award that is now located over there on the right. The award is given to "those bloggers that are showing time and time again that they are true to themselves and that they ARE their blog". Thanks, Barb. It's always fun to win something and sometimes I feel like a blog.
You know when I started this NaBloPoMo thing I forgot to check my travel schedule. I will be posting blogs from four different states over the course of this month. I have already been to DC. I am leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow, heading for Florida next Tuesday and then making a trip out to San Francisco at the end of the month. Since I got my "crackberry", I stopped traveling with my laptop. Well, my laptop and I are back on the road together. Five states in a month! Thank God for high speed Internet everywhere.
So it goes...tomorrow I will be posting from sin city. The local sport in Vegas is people watching because I don't think there is a larger collection of strange varieties of humans to be found anywhere else in the US. Oh sure, you'll see some alien like creatures just about everywhere you go but in Vegas the sheer number of rare species are staggering. It might just be the only thing besides gaming lessons that's free in Las Vegas. I swear there are hundreds of hotel rooms in the town that do not have mirrors because "people you can't really want to intentionally look like that in public, do ya?" As James Taylor so aptly put it "Is that the way you look?".
I don't know where my inspiration went tonight but I got nothin'. I am not doing a good job of making notes on the various blog ideas I come up with during the day. Now I am tired and cannot come up with a thing...
I played golf today. It was unseasonably warm here and I wanted to test out my surgically repaired hand. The test was successful. The repaired finger is actually very good; the sutures are still a little sore. I was concerned that the hand would not hold up and my concern was all for naught. Now if I could just get these stitches out...
Heading to Las Vegas Thursday for a little fun in the name of business entertainment. One of our best clients and best friends in the business loves Vegas (he's from Philly!), so we'll meet him there and do the Vegas thing. I won't lose a lot of money because I never really bet a lot of money. We'll have some fun going to see the show "Love" at the Mirage, which I have seen once, and am looking forward to again. A night of Beatles music in Vegas is settling. The place is whacko...A couple of days in Vegas is enough for us...back home Sunday.
Can't wait to go down to Florida for Thanksgiving for the weather. I wish all my kids could be there with us but some things are hard to work out these days. Hopefully, we can get together and eat another turkey sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This is not about agreeing with war. This is about honoring those that have given of themselves to serve our country. One of those that gave was my Dad. While he was lucky to come back from the Korean war alive, he really didn't survive it. It haunted him his entire life. I'm felt and saw his pain first hand. No, it's not about war; it's about humanity and compassion for the veterans and their loved ones.
Thanks to all that have served and those that serve for us now. We have much to be thankful for.
Last night I said I would provide some more details on the talk I sat in with General Colin Powell. Okay here are some details...
- He comes across as brilliant
- He grew up in Harlem and rose to the Office of Secretary of State of the United States of America. Great American success story. Don't tell me it can't be done.
- He was quite funny at times
- He tried to talk G.W. Bush into not going to war with Iraq. His words were "You break it. You own it. We broke it and expected it to just come together. No way this would work. I'm convinced that the whole Iraq thing left a really bad taste in his mouth and he was happy to depart the Bush administration.
- He recounted his initial meeting with Gorbachov when President Reagan asked him to go to Moscow for the first time. This was the beginning of the end of the cold war and not only was it interesting, he made it funny. I think the humor would be lost if I tried to write it out, so I will spare you the pain.
- He believes that while America has it's challenges, we are still in a good place. He did say that some of our worldly relationships need some TLC...which I believe was a little shot at GWB and his gang of neocons.
- He believes that partisan politics is a good thing when it works. He said he knows the American public is sick of the system right now because it's not working. The art of compromise has been lost. He said only the voters can get this changed. Seems like a tall order to me.
- His optimism is contagious. That's one of the virtues that contribute to his leadership skills.
- Someone asked him if he would ever run for president. He politely said he has no hunger for politics. I took it to mean that he is a man of integrity and does not like the compromises that must be made to get your butt elected. He's too good a man to run. That's one of the problems with the office of President. If you are smart enough to do the job, you're smart enough to know that you don't want the damn job.
Traveled back home from DC tonight. I feel as if I walked home. I have already been asleep once and as I was giving in to calling it a night I remembered. I DIDN'T POST TODAY. Since that is not acceptable and this cheesy technicality of a post will do...I am getting the post in. That was so close. I got a chance to sit through a talk by Colin Powell today...I will provide details tomorrow. He was quite entertaining and fascinating.
I did it. I'm in. I'm half asleep and I am going to find the other half. Goodnight all.
Had a full day of convention duty. Surrounded by insurance geeks. My peeps...wow that's a sobering thought. Good day of business capped off with a fine meal at a restaurant in DC by the name of Palette. Excellent food. We saw Bob Woodward dining in the restaurant. The biz was all good...the rest of it....not so much.
This mornings room service saga has salted away dubbing this hotel, the Marriott at Wardman Park, the worst I have ever stayed at. We used the little door hanger breakfast menu to be safe or so we thought. We had a meeting at 8:00 so we indicated that we wanted breakfast delivered between 7 and 7:15. We called them at 7:20 and they said it would be right up. We're talking cold cereal here. It arrived at 7:50. We had to leave it and go to our meeting. Hungry. Agitated. As we were waiting in the lobby to meet our 8 o'clock we saw a Marriott Sales Mgr. I told her that this was the worst hotel I had ever stayed at and explained. I think she got the point and comped the breakfast. Weird side note...when we returned in the late afternoon our room service cart was in the hall and it was obvious the maid had drunk the oj, ate a muffin and pinched the cereal boxes. I'm figurin' she gets these uneaten breakfasts a lot at this dump. I'm pleased that at least someone enjoyed our breakfast.
Apparently one of the towers in the hotel had no hot water this morning. There seemed to be a lot of edgy people this morning. I think a nice cold shower has a way of doing that to your outlook on the day. Another gentleman told me he arranged a breakfast meeting in his suite this morning...it took over 2 hours to get the food. They offered to comp his breakfast; at which point he indicated they were going to comp all 6. Nice work...this hotel is not capable of handling guests. A minor problem, don't you think.
The business portion of the convention has begun. This morning we did have some free time so we took in a few more sights. That is, after we decided to give up on our room service breakfast. It never arrived; after many calls and waiting patiently for over an hour and a half; no breakfast. I will have to let the hotel know that they are confused about room service. One thing I can help them with...hint...it's supposed to actually come to your room. What a frustrating waste of time.
One of the places we visited was the Library of Congress. It is the mother of all libraries. The picture is of the main reading room. Wow. Our government sure got fancy with our tax dollars. We did get to see a "perfect" version of the Gutenberg Bible. One of the 4 that exist. The library receives 22,000 submissions, books and other items seeking a copyright, every day. They keep about 10,000 per day. Holy moley...that's a lot of mail. It explains why they have their own zip code. Another interesting tidbit; books published in English only account for 30% of the books in the library. Smallest book, one twenty fifth of an inch...it simply says Old King Cole was a Merry Old Soul...they had to read it with a microscope. Largest book, weighs 135 pounds, 5 feet by 7 feet and its a pictorial study of Bhutan. I wonder what the paperback version would weigh?
Here are some other amazing facts about the Library of Congress for the year 2006. I didn't have any idea about the magnitude of this institution. Wow.
It's that time of year...the dreaded annual convention. This time we're in Washington D.C holed up in the usual small overpriced convention hotel room. The geek fest really doesn't start until tomorrow so I still have time before my brain starts to melt. You gotta do what you gotta do.
M & I took in some of the basic D.C. sites by visiting the Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Roosevelt Memorials followed by the Viet Nam, World War II and Korean War Memorials. The war memorials were sobering. We Americans have had too many wars in our short history. Millions have fought and died; the survivors forever scarred due to the horrors of war. When will we ever learn? My dad was forever scarred by his experiences in the Korean War. Seeing the memorial today was somewhat of a moving experience. The pictures are from the Korean Memorial. The Viet Nam memorial immediately drove me to reverent silence. The World War II memorial was mind blowing to think that 400,000 Americans perished in that war and that's only a fraction of the people that died in that war!
I know "Freedom isn't free" but as a species we somehow need to remember that "War is Hell". We need to teach all the people of the world, from the moment they come into this world that we hate war. I hate the idea of war.
I really want to believe that global warming is a huge problem. I just wish that Mr. I invented the Internet wasn't the main spokesperson. Al doesn't just want to be our cyberspace hero, he is now going to save the earth. I cannot stand his act. He's just another mind numbing politician looking for face time. That's my opinion and I am entitled to that.
I don't know if all the hoopla about global warming is fitting or not. It has a kind of "the sky is falling" feel to it. Combine that with Mr. G and well, I'm looking for other opinions. However, whether its a true catastrophe or not and whether one believes all the stuff that's flying about I can't help but feel that trying our best to take care of the orbiting rock we call home is a pretty good idea.
Everyone in this country should be using CFL's instead of regular light bulbs. Everywhere we went in Italy, CFL's were in use. Damn smart those Italians (need proof? one word....gelato). CFL's are more expensive to purchase but last a lot longer than regular bulbs and they use less energy. I read somewhere that a CFL can save over $30 in energy costs over its lifetime. We have replaced all of our regular bulbs and feel pretty good about it. I also try to keep lights off as much as possible. It's not much but it's something....If everyone did a little something it would add up to a big something.
Next on our "green" agenda is looking for a more efficient car or hybrid to cut back on our fuel consumption. We found an electric car we love but holy crap is it expensive. Hopefully, Tesla will use what they learn on this project to create more affordable electric vehicles.
We will try to be vigilant in "going green". As long as I don't have to say it's Al's idea, I think I can handle it.
I spent my surgical recovery weekend watching football which is somewhat normal for me. Since my recreational options were limited I am sure I vegged a bit more than usual.
I played football for 9 years and football was something my father really loved. It was something I got to share with my dad. He knew the game better than anyone I knew. On weekends like this when football is on from noon to bedtime, I've often thought about how much my dad would have loved having game after game to choose from. I will never stop wishing he was here to enjoy it with me. I will always enjoy watching football as a small reminder and connection to him.
Last nights dinner went well. I did have a difficult time trying to keep my bandage out of the olive oil when I was trying to dip my bread. I ended up ordering soup (cauliflower, cumin and pear) as an appetizer and handled the spoon without incident. It may sound like a weird combination of ingredients for soup but it was delicious. For a main course, I opted for lamb which this particular restaurant really prepares well. It did take me a little longer than usual to eat the lamb but it was worth the labored knife work. The company at dinner was excellent.
Therapy starts tomorrow and the pain in my hand is easing up so I am looking forward to even less discomfort when I wake up tomorrow. Maybe a clear head will make writing these posts a little easier as well.
Hand is still quite sore but it does seem to be improving. The painkillers are making it very difficult for me to be creative. I'm in just a bit of a fog.
We have a "business" dinner tonight which should be interesting. I hope I don't start drooling or play with my nostrils. As you can see my hand is bandaged pretty well so I'm not sure I can use a knife either. Maybe I'll just order soup...I may have to just eat with my good hand. Probably not good form....
I will try to do a post after dinner and let you know how I did.
This is the first official post of a solid month of posting everyday. Right off the bat tomorrow is going to be interesting. I am having some minor surgery on my hand (left ring finger to be exact) at 7:30 A.M. tomorrow. For future reference if somebody other than you is having surgery, it's minor. Unfortunately, it me this time. I'm looking forward to getting it over because my hand is semi-useless and the pain is not any fun.
I'm sure that tomorrow my keyboard skills are going to be further limited and the pain meds might alter my mind a bit. So, let me say right now that i am not responsible for anything I publish tomorrow.
I am planning on some regular pieces this month but you'll have to tune in to catch them.
To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.
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