Straight shooter, brutally Honest, Irreverent at times? To be sure.
Love to Learn & Grow. As your friend I would do anything for you. I love my wife and kids more than anything. I respect and look up to my father as my hero.
"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst...a spark that creates extraordinary results."
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Tony & Pete
For Sameday Service See "Uncle Pete". Aka The Mayor
I really appreciate you loyal readers for your patience. I know I have not been on my "A" game with posting as of late. I think the stress, anxiety and pressure of this jobless thing has been weighing down my creative side. I do apologize. I will get back to it soon I hope. I have to fight to keep a roof over my kids head right now. That is my priority. Thanks for understanding.Prayers accepted.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting." During my Walk About I am really trying to do something I spoke about a few weeks ago. Lending yourself to a new process, a higher power. Releasing all that you have ever wished for, wanted, planned for and jumping into the abyss with only your faith in God. Instead of trying to steer your life via the hopeful human Garmin system, allow yourself to float in the sea of uncertainty to realize your fate and new destination in this very wacky time in which we are evolving these days. No Mom, I have not been smoking peyote. God Bless each of you and your families.
So many of you may not know I am big and big into cycling. The Giro d'italia is going on right now. I know who cares?
I do! This is all about me. So holla.
This guy seems to show up at all the races. Kind of funny. I want to know how he gets those horns on the plane? Hmmmmm. Ride like ya stole it. Please whenever possible support the LiveStrong Foundation.
So, last Thursday I got the wonderful opportunity to accompany my son Jordan to his Kindergarten end of the year field trip. We all piled onto the school bus and headed for the vineyard country 35 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon to a little gem called Camp Tilicum. I was the chaperon for my son and one of his school mates. While we were there we made our way around the lake to 5 different activity zones.
1. Rope walk/climbing wall, where the kids got to face their fears of heights and believing in themselves to make it across the rope walk. 2. 3/4 mile hike, which of course turned into a 3/4 mile sprint because the kids knew that the fishing station and lunch were waiting at the end of the trail. 3. Fishing, where Jordan was one of 8 kids who actually caught a fish. He caught two, (plus a salamander) which absolutely made his day so bright. 4. Canoeing around the lake, which was interesting as I tried to paddle and keep 3 eager and inquisitive boys from moving too much so we wouldn't have to go swimming. (56 degree spring run off water would not be my idea of fun.) 5. Finally, we attended an old one room school house for some learning. The kids all sat in the old style school desks for a spelling bee & an energized discussion about beavers. Then, outside on the muddy lawn, they played a game of boys against girls tug-of-war. Needless to say, we had a nice long bus ride ahead in muddy clothes.
For me it was a day to put all my struggles aside and just enjoy and engage those moments in time with my son who is such a special loving little boy. At the end of the day he hugged me and said "Thanks Dad, for coming with me." Then he drifted off to sleep against my shoulder on the bus ride home. I sat with tears in my eyes and whispered thankfully back to him. " No, thank YOU, buddy."
A Thousand Word Thursday was based on the simple premise that a picture is worth a thousand words. For me I see peace, tranquility and strength. What does it say to you? Take a moment this week to stop and engage the natural beauty around you. Enjoy the cathartic warmth nature can provide.
I am not so Wordful this Wednesday. But Please go check out Angie's site for many awesome new options to uncover some great new blogs. Angie has been such a wonderfully supportive, kind friend to me these past few months. Thanks so much Angie. It is like a treasure chest of material. I hope you enjoy.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting." Kind of a strange tribute I know, but today I choose to tribute lending yourself to a new process, a higher power. Releasing all that you have ever wished for, wanted, planned for and jumping into the abyss with only your faith in God. Instead of trying to steer your life via the hopeful human Garmin system, allow yourself to float in the sea of uncertainty to realize your fate and new destination in this very wacky time in which we are evolving these days. No Mom, I have not been smoking peyote. God Bless each of you and your families.
So let's get right down to it. I am a bit late with this post but I had to try to calm down after the phone conversation I just had at 7:38 this morning with said COBRA Administration manager.
Two months ago we get a letter from my favorite former company breaking down our benefits options if we choose to stay on our current medical and dental program. So of course we went out and trolled the open market for health insurance. I won't get into that lovely course of navigation or we will be here all day. Let it be known after the gov. pays 65% of the COBRA costs you are far better off than what the open market yields.
So on Saturday I come home from an awesome morning coaching my son Pele (Jordan's) soccer team to receive a bill from the COBRA folks. I almost had a triple coronary episode when I look and see the line titled Amount Due: $ fifty billion dollars. What the?
Thus, prompting this morning's phone call to ensure they got my paperwork and get a new correct amount for the amount due. The nice lady on the line tells me that I have to pay the full COBRA amount and then once they determine that I am eligible for the federal subsidy they will reimburse me the amount I have over paid. So I take a deep breath, push all the piss & vinegar that was trying to spew from my mouth out my ear holes so not to crucify and burn at the stake the messenger on the other end of the phone. I very sternly told her that I could not afford to pay the full COBRA amount of fifty billion, yes, that is with a B. I explained I had a letter stating what is a much more manageable amount I am willing to pay. She tells me again in broken record format:
"Sir, I am sorry, the full amount is what is due and then once we determine you are eligible for the federal subsidy we will reimburse you for the amount you have over paid." cue the pot boiling over in the meth lab.
I once again bring the boil to a low rolling bubbling in my head and ask: "Why would you send out a bill before determining that a person is or is not eligible for the federal subsidy? People who do not have a job cannot afford to float your company 65% of fifty billion dollars. My concern is ensuring my children are fed, clothed and have a roof over their heads."
"Sir, I understand but this is how the program works."
To which I reply: "The program is flawed then. I am not paying anyone fifty billion dollars and waiting for them to pay me back. Thank you for nothing."
I waited until the line had been cut to actually say what I wanted to. Fuck you!!!! That is spelled f.u.c.k. capital Y.O.U. This is just a sliver of the bovine balderdash that is wrong with this country when companies try to take advantage of people who our down on their luck to make situations even harder for them. How hard is it to implement a subsidy program that helps people? Sorry Mom, if you are reading this, but you know me and I have met my boiling point.
Love her to death, but what happened to the little tiny snuggles 8yrs ago? I am investing in wife beater tee shirts, shotgun shells to write the name of the boys who dare ask her out and am going to keep lifting weights. Oh and this little gem.
APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO DATE MY DAUGHTER
NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, driving record, lineage, and current certified medical report (including drug tests) from your doctor. 1. NAME _______________________________ DATE OF BIRTH ________________ 2. HEIGHT ______________ WEIGHT __________ I.Q _______ G.P.A.____________ 3. SOCIAL SECURITY # _____________ DRIVERS LICENSE # __________________ 4. BOY SCOUT RANK________________ 5. HOME ADDRESS _________________ CITY/STATE ___________ ZIP __________ 6. Do you have one MALE and one FEMALE parent?______________________________ If No, EXPLAIN ______________________________________________________ 7. Number of years your parents have been married ____ 8. Do you own a van? ______ A truck with oversized tires?_____ A waterbed? ____ Do you have an earring, nose ring, belly button ring, or a tattoo?___________ (If "yes" to any of #8, discontinue application and leave premises) 9. In 50 words or less, what does "LATE" mean to you?_________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 10. In 50 words or less, what does "DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER" mean to you? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 11. In 50 words or less, what does "ABSTINENCE" mean to you? ______________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 12. Church you attend _____________ How often do you attend ______________________ 13. When would be the best time to interview your father, mother and priest/rabbi/minister? ____ 14. Answer by filling in the blank: please answer freely. ALL answers are confidential (That means I won't tell anyone -ever- I promise.) a) If I were shot, the last place on my body I would want wounded is _______________ b) If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my________________________ c) A woman's place is in the _______________________________________________ d) The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is__________________ e) When I first meet a girl, the first thing I notice about her is_________________ ( NOTE: If your answer begins with "T" or "A", discontinue. Leave premises keeping your head low. Running in a serpentine fashion is advised.) 15. What do you want to be IF you grow up? ____________________________________
I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE, AND RED HOT POKERS. ________________________________________ Signature (That means sign your name) Thank you for your interest. Please allow four to six years for processing. You will be notified in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. If you do attempt any communication before your application is approved, automatic disqualification will result. If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentlemen wearing white ties and carrying violin cases (You might want to watch your back). Do you still want to date my daughter?: _____ Yes, please accept my application _____ I um, no, I uh, think I have the wrong house...
Still want to date her? Good luck with that Bucko.
Last Thursday I got off the plane in San Francisco and walked to the exit to find the hotel shuttle. The signage at that airport is more confusing than trying to read the tags on the grocery store spice rack. (Too much info; not enough clear substance.) So I am standing in an area where I am kind of boxed in on each side. There are no windows, just a tall metal wall on each side of me. What happens next was something that is very hard to capture in words. For the next 5 min of my life I will do my best to explain and paint the events for you to feel them the way I did.
Suddenly I hear: “Sir”...“Sir”...“Hello, Sir”. I think to myself, is this voice speaking to me? I peak around the corner to my right and see this little colored lady sitting in an info booth. She motions to me to come over. “How can I help you? You look lost.”
I explain that I am looking for the hotel shuttle area. She tells me where to go and as I begin to thank her, she makes eye contact with me, and then out of the blue she gently, but with purpose, reaches across the desk and straightens my tie and picks a few small pieces of lint from my suit jacket. Then in that signature way that many of the older colored woman have expressing enthusiasm she says,
“ OOOOh boy, you look nice today. Are you here for an interview?”
I'm kind of taken aback. OK, how would she have any clue I am here for an interview? I quickly reply:
"Yes ma'am, I am." For some reason I cannot explain I say, "I have been out of work for more than 2 months." She smiles, still locking in with eye contact and says,
“Can I hold your right hand?” I obliged. She then asks me to close my eyes. I do, but keep one ¼ slightly open, not knowing what she is going to do, but not wanting to be disrespectful to what I, in my gut, felt were probably good intentions. What happened next was nothing short of amazing to me. She cupped her hands around mine, closed her eyes and her lips began to move as if she was saying a prayer in a low whisper. As she prayed her hands moved ever so gently in a circular motion around my much larger hand. This was so surreal. I felt like I was in a time warp of such an odd, yet loving, authentic and pure moment of human kindness. It was peaceful, yet so empowering.
“Sir, you can open your eyes,” she said still holding my hand. I looked into her eyes yearning for understanding and trying to make sense of all this. Without provocation she says,
“I wanted to give you strength and good karma.”
Me, still in this trance like moment reply, "Thank you, thank you very much. I really appreciate that. I do."
She replies with steeled conviction “I know you do dear, I could feel it.” “You have a wonderful day.” Still looking at her I reply, "Thank you, you do the same."
I turn slowly as though I am in some kind of trance and walk towards the exit again. Now knowing where I am supposed to go and trying to internalize this huge expression of human kindness, my mind is turning over questions at mock speed. She did not know me. No way could she have known I had an interview. She did not have to do what she did. Why me? How did she pick me out of the crowd? All I can say is that she had a profound impact on my day and a resounding impact on my life’s outlook.
I walked back by the same info booth 4 hours later as I returned to fly home. I wanted to thank her again. She was gone. No info pamphlets, nothing. The booth desk was clear and void of everything.
You know, if each of us could find a way to conduct ourselves with such an unselfish, pay it forward manner, our world would be such a kinder, gentler place to reside. I hope you can all find a way to make a difference in someone's life this week. If even just a kind or supportive word, for kind words are the most powerful of all the worlds' riches.
Addendum: (I told this story to my mom that night upon return. On the other end of the phone I heard sniffles. I asked her what was wrong. She proceeded to tell me that she had a similar experience many years ago after my sister was born and was in PICU. A little old colored nun that she new from the hospital came and asked is she could light a candle for my sister. Then proceeded to hold her hand and let her know my sister would be ok.)
Ok, I am sorry. There, I said it up front. I have to get this off my chest. I was out browsing a flowers' website to check out Mother's Day flowers and at what they're priced and what I came across was the above bouquet of "Balance and beauty combine to create a graceful bouquet of poise and polish. Cymbidium Orchids in a vivid pink hue lean with ease composing a bouquet of soft simplicity." Includes 6 stems of pink Cymbidium Orchids and a designer glass vase.
Your purchase includes a complimentary personalized gift message.
Now nothing says Happy Mother's Day like this bouquet for $475.00. Yes, you read it correctly. $475.00 clams my friends. So what you are really telling dear old Mom is "you raised me to be a damned fool with my money because I just bought you 6 pink orchids that will die in 5 days or less for $475.00." That's $79.16 per orchid. Oh and you get the complimentary gift card (shit, I would hope it's complimentary after you drop $475.00 on 6 damned flowers) on which you can leave your loving message:
Happy Mother's Day. I hope you have a wonderful day. I have more money than brains, thanks for raising me so well.
Love, your frugal son or daughter.
Sorry Mom. I love you very, very much, but I love you everyday, not just on Mother's Day. As much as I love you I respect the fact that you actually raised me to have a bit more gray matter than to spend almost five bills on some damned flowers. Think of all the things that $475.00 could support in these times. The real humor is that the only reason said flower company has this selection on its website is that dumb asses buy them. Sheesh.
Happy 13th Anniversary to my Lovely wife. Thank you for putting up with me for all those years.
Thank you for visiting my Blog. I do this for family, friends and any soul who dares venture into my whacked out mind to join me for some 12 step therapy. I forget which step this is, but I digress. I warn you I am authentic & call a spade a spade. Please take a moment and leave a comment within any posting that you like or dislike.
Life can happen a day early. Unexpectedly or not. Never give up the chance to give a compliment, a hug or kiss, say thank you, Pay it forward, or say I love you, a day early. It may help you breathe easier because you lived, a day earlier than planned.
Mt. Hood from Trillium Lake
Clear Lake, OR
Majestic Oregon Destination
Fog from the Beach
Deadhead Beach - Indian State Park
Coastal Storm Waves
Newport, OR Lighthouse
To Have Lived
To laugh often and much;To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.This is to have succeeded.
Tribute to My Tribe
Alayna & Jordan 2007
St. John Fishermen
St. John USVI 2004
St. John USVI
Sunset in Paradise, St. John USVI
"Rain drops are falling on my head..."
God is a Hokie. That is why the leaves turn Maroon & Orange each fall.