Showing posts from January, 2010

Birthday Randomness

- How old am I? One day older than I was yesterday.

- I’m feeling loved today, in part because of all the birthday greetings from Facebook friends. Wow, they remembered. Of course they remembered, there’s a reminder on every page; but they took a moment to send a note and that makes me happy.

- A couple of friends sent me email, ecards and a couple sent real cards too. Even better!

- I recently ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. He said, “you look younger every time I see you.”

- Some people fear aging because of potential physical, mental and emotional losses. I’m not all that worried about those things. One of my biggest fears is not having a clear plan for the next phase of my life. I’ve hit so many of my earlier goals that I didn’t stop to make new ones for later.

- Some co-workers gave me a cake yesterday … four candles (one for each decade, right?) … the kind of candles that keep relighting themselves.

- My favorite birthday present ever was the coffee cup pictured with t…

They Made It!

The New Orleans Saints DID make it into the Super Bowl. We'll soon see if everything in my last post actually happens!!

Laissez les bon temps roulez!!!!

8 Things That Will Happen If The Saints Make It To The Super Bowl

My sister sent this to me. It’s a lot funnier if you’re from New Orleans but you might laugh anyway, especially at #1, 3 and 7.

If the Saints are in the Super Bowl, New Orleans is likely to explode into a chaotic revelry unlike anything the city has ever seen before. Add in the fact that they’ll be in the midst of Mardi Gras during the game and it’s almost scary to think what could go down here on February 7, 2010 if the Saints are in Miami.

Here are some things we might see:

1. Alcohol shortages: All groceries, convenience stores and drug stores within a 100 mile radius of New Orleans will completely sell out of beer, wine and liquor. If the Saints make the Super Bowl, you should stock up at least a week in advance otherwise you’ll be stuck with soda and water.

2. Extreme noise: The sounds of 1.13 million cheering fans in metro New Orleans will reach more than 500 decibels. Hundreds of thousands of stomping feet will create shockwaves and tremors as far away as Houston and Atlanta.

3. Reg…

The “Process”

Every January I go through a self-evaluation process. It is bookended by my favorite two days of the year, New Year’s Day and my birthday, which is near the end of the month. The process is like goal-setting but less formal. I look back through the previous year, see what I did or didn’t accomplish personally and professionally, and look ahead to the coming year.

I’ve been doing this for almost twenty years now and the process serves me well. It gives me a guideline for getting things done and establishes some measurement for progress or lack thereof.

A goal across those two decades has been to approach life more proactively than reactively. I think you can have a much more interesting life if you take it by the balls and squeeze. The years in which I’ve done that have been memorable and often set the stage for great growth in life. There is not much to show for years where I just let my life live me.

A few self observations so far during this year’s process month:

- Professionall…

Totally Random 3.5

- Wouldn’t Access Denied be a great name for a band?

- People in their 80s and 90s tend to lose weight and bone mass, which means they literally get smaller. So why do they take up more space in the aisle at the grocery store?

- Do you have a CD changer in your car? Are you ever surprised when something starts to play and you didn’t even realize that CD was in the player? That happened to me twice a few days ago when I heard Billy Price songs and then Robert Randolph songs. It seems I had played the same U2 and Dave Matthews CDs over and over again and forgot there were others in there.

- I know more about some co-workers from their Facebook posts that I do from daily in-person conversations.

- Twenty-three percent of U.S. homes have only cell phones and the number is growing rapidly. I’m seriously considering joining them. I rarely use my home land line and it annoys me when it rings. Everyone who really has to reach me has my cell number.

- Do you think the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hol…

Checking Out Some Music

Sharing a few music performances today. The first three are from Tommy Castro, one of my favorite contemporary blues artists. The fourth is from Tom Waits, a 'unique' performer with a large cult following.

Tommy Castro - Live at the XM Studios

Tommy Castro - If I Had A Nickel

Click Here for another way to see this.

Tommy Castro - Nasty Habits

Tom Waits - Heart Attack and Vine

Tom Waits is like a cross between Frank Zappa and Frank Sinatra. So as an added bonus for reading down this far, click here to see a Frank Sinatra performance. (OK, maybe that's a penalty and not a bonus).

The Unreal Reality of Disaster

No food, no water, no electricity. You hear those words and you see the pictures on TV and the internet, but it always seems like something happening to someone else. Have you ever imagined being in that situation yourself?

I got a taste of it after Hurricane Katrina, partly from stories told to me by friends and family in Louisiana who lived it and partly from my own visit to New Orleans six weeks after the storm. It hit home for many Americans because a great American city was devastated and we saw months of TV coverage to continuously remind us. Less than a year later there were several books filling in the gaps in coverage and telling insider tales of what went on during that disaster.

But the earthquake in Haiti this week is so much bigger and it is geographically close enough to our country that we have an emotional connection to their plight.

Walk in their shoes for a minute and compare it to what we would be going through tonight.

There is no electricity, which means no runnin…


An awesome friend sent me this tonight. Thought I'd share.

You can have anything you want
if you want it badly enough.
You can be anything you want to be,
do anything you set out to accomplish,
if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.

Age Discrimination

This news about Senator Reid’s racist comments about Obama bothers me but the President has accepted the apology, so let’s move on. Reid should not resign. When you see me say that, do you automatically brand me politically? Do you make assumptions about my attitudes toward politics or race? You can’t possibly know what I think based on the first two sentences. This paragraph and the picture of me on this blog do not tell the whole story of me, do they? The same could be said about what you say and what you look like, right?

But this post is not about politics or race. This is about a form of discrimination that crosses race, religion, politics and gender: age discrimination.

I’d like to believe that baby boomers still rule, but younger people have so many misconceptions about us that I have stopped telling my age. I can’t hide that I’m over 50, but that’s mostly because my previous blog was about being over 50. I won’t delete it; it is what it is. But I no longer tell anyone my age bec…

Dream Big

Have you ever heard the Rascal Flatts song “My Wish”? I’ve heard it many times and recognized it as a pleasant poem about life’s dreams. But this morning I heard an interview with the songwriter and learned that it was written for one of his children. He had a list of things he wished for her in her life and one day turned that list into a song.

The interview gave me a new perspective on the song as it played moments later. This section got my attention the most:

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too.

Most of us have dreams for ourselves but this is a case of someone wanting to help another person achieve their dreams. Dream big, worry small and know someone loves you and wants your dreams to come true. That is a powerful mess…

The Music Journey Continues

My ongoing ‘rediscover live music’ journey made another stop on January 1st. For the first time since the late 1980s I saw two of my old favorite blues bands the Nighthawks and the Billy Price Band.

I was excited to see them but also a little apprehensive; would they still be as good as I remembered them?

The answer? Sort of.

They were both good. Each did a set, followed by a set with both bands combined. There was plenty of talent on that stage but I didn’t see the continuous spontaneity and fun I remembered. There were a few spectacular moments, however, especially when Billy Price sang “Our Love Will Never Die.” At least I think that’s the name of the song and it might be an old Otis Rush song. Billy put some incredible feeling into his performance, even singing the hook line off mic but with enough passion and power to be heard clearly across the whole room. But some of the songs fell short on fun, as if the bands were tired from playing a New Year’s Eve job somewhere the night befor…

A Timely Flood

Dad died more than eight years ago but I’ve been drowning in a flood of thoughts about him all week. The trigger was a Washingtonian magazine article written by a guy just a little older than me dealing with his Dad’s Parkinson’s disease. That nasty illness robbed my father of some great years and reading someone else’s story brings back the good, the bad and the ugly of my Dad’s final decades.

I loved Dad but I can’t really say we were close. Our rough patch lasted from mid-high school through my twenties. His attitude changed after I bought my first house.

I learned a lot from him: carpentry, problem-solving, planning, sticking to your beliefs, stubbornness. I learned but rejected other things: judgmentalism, Catholicism, racism (he eventually changed his attitude on that last one). I learned a few other things he didn’t intend to teach me, including my favorite life concept: balance.

Sadly, he was never good at emotional communication. Guys from his generation just didn’t talk…

A New Year

New dreams,
a new view of old dreams,
finish things that were started,
start or re-start others.
Try again to get down to what really counts:
laughing, learning, playing, travelling, kissing.
Turn up the volume on music
and life.