Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years

As I sit here thinking about the next week and how in the world I am going to complete my business I am wondering what 2009 will bring. I have a very good friend who makes his living in a business filled with risk and he says “If you not risking you’re not in the game”. I am sure I am in the game but not too sure if I like it! I think I would just like to retire. My current business depends greatly on the last quarter of the year and as anyone knows, that is not a supplier; the last quarter of this year has sucked!!! Why is it people who are suppliers always think the economy has nothing to do with the sale of their product it is all tied to your performance!! CRAZY

Well as I look back at 2008 it really hasn’t been too bad for this blessed man. My son has entered another phase of his life. My lovely wife still loves me. This is as unexplainable as the Lady Bugs ability to predict the severity of the upcoming winter’s weather. If you do not know what that is you need to watch more science channel!! I have my health although my knees do give me fits at times.

2008 was not all good either. I lost my dear Mother, the woman who was there for me every time in my life I needed her. I lost a couple of very dear friends. Lamar Alexander the guy who showed me how to laugh and live care free. Uncle Johnny the guy who taught me what a wonderful thing lunch could be when you just talk, visit and remember the old days. When you reach my age you should savor every chance you have to be with family and friends. As I get ready for New Years Eve I will make a promise to myself to try to do just that!

I plan on bringing in 2009 with 27 of my closest friends!! What a wonderful time can see midnight already. I have done this for the past 5 years. Everyone kissing and telling each other how much they love one another. A scene one wishes could last forever but soon everyone gets their things and starts out trying to get home before the crazies get on the road. Thank the lord we all live within 3 miles of each other. I will be home around 12:15 and in bed by 12:30 if I am blessed. And tomorrow it is football and then Friday it starts all over again. I can’t wait until I can sleep late and then get up and not have anything to do except what I want to all day. I think deep down we all strive for that, even my friend who risks everything daily. He says he loves what he does but I bet deep down inside he would love to just take his dog out to his farm and goof off all day. I know I would…

Here is wishing you and yours the best year of your life in 2009.

Happy New Year and pass me the Rose Champagne!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


My dad once told me to always have character, never be one. After spending 3 days with my young son I am wondering how to relay this life lesson to him. He has become addicted to the Television show called House. I watched this show the other night and now realize my son has serious mental issues! He has even gone as far as to get the cane this clown carries. If you have never seen the show here it is in a nutshell. This brilliant Doctor is the biggest asshole on the planet. He demeans everyone he comes into contact with, socially unacceptable and rude would be an understatement as a descriptor for Dr. House. This is a guy, who in real life, would get punched out at any social event he ever attended. My young son thinks he is Dr. House. He had the gall to look me in the eye at dinner the other night and tell me he was smarter than 85% of the people on earth! What an asshole right? Now he is and has always been a smart young man. 26 on the A.C.T. the first time he took it; graduated number one in his class in the Air Force Special Forces as well. But I think 85% is not even in the ballpark, if you get my drift. He has been tested, and has a very good I.Q. but better than 85% I just am not sure.

He answers questions now with these ridicules philosophical retorts. He tells me now that he should be happy, with which I agree. Then he finished the sentence, I cannot stand stupidity so I point it out at every occasion. What do you tell a kid like this? As I told him when we had this surreal conversation the other night you will die a lonely man my young son. He said he didn’t care as long as he didn’t have to put up with stupid people. WOW think about that statement as it applies to your life. What would it be like to not have to deal with someone you perceived as dumb? That person at the check out that doesn’t have the checkbook out until the clerk says how much the purchase is, the one who is talking on the cell phone when the red light changes and sits there until someone blows the horn at them then they get all pissed off! And I am sure you could insert several others. But really they are not stupid, they are not engaged, paying attention call it what you will but stupid I think not. They found the store didn’t they, they passed the driver’s test hopefully. They are simply not paying attention. I am sure you have never had the horn blown at you at a red light correct?

Well back to Dr. House. My son is a very talented writer. At his young age he already has written a novel! And I must to tell you a few friends have read it including a published author and he says it is rough but very good for a first attempt. So I think I am going to try to write him a letter and explain my point of view. I know talking only pisses me off. He goes in character and I lose him. Maybe if I take the opportunity to act away and make him read it I will open his eyes.

As my grandfather told me one time “Character is what you do when no one is looking.” So I am going to write my Character and see if I can’t open his eyes.

Well I am off to a friend’s house. Maybe some Short Ribs and red wine will make me feel better. Always remember have Character don’t be one!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Why is it that your children have the ability to affect your emotions more than anyone else on earth? As I sit here writing this I truly believe I could do my son in! Now do not forget I haven’t seen him in months and he has been here two days. I am ready to do the world a favor if you get my drift! His mother a kind and gentle woman. His dad, me, not a bad guy I do not think. I have friends as you have read. I have feelings as you see here. I have charity for my fellow man. Where did this self centered, arrogant, full of $H!T person come from sitting on my couch? The sound of his voice sends me over the top. He feels like everything he does should be honored and treated as if he has just cured cancer. His treats everyone around him with such disrespect that it is a miracle he has not been beating within an inch of his life. He has this attitude that is truly beyond belief. Everything on the planet is here for him and the rest of us should line up and thank the heavens above we are allowed to share space with this gift to mankind!

Maybe I shouldn’t write when the emotions are so raw. The rereading the above it may sound a bit rough. However, I still think a fare assessment of him currently. I understand when you are Special Forces you should have a bit of an air about you. However, you should also have a bit of common sense as well. I feel like common sense is much more valuable in certain situations than other knowledge.

Back to the original questions; why can your kids hit your buttons quicker than anyone else? I have to guess it is because you have a expectation of them. You always want them to be better than you. You want them to have an easier way than you. You want to protect them from all of the things that hurt you or set you back years in getting where you wanted to go. But the good lord has installed some kind of firewall in them. It blocks anything that you tell them that makes any kind of sense. It sends it directly into the SPAM folder and they never get to hear what you have to say. What a shame.

I really miss my Dad right now. I would give 10 years off my life to be able to ask him some advice or get him to jog my memory of the times I did the exact same thing to him. Somehow you always forget the bad times in your memories. I promise you my Dad could, more than likely, tell me countless times I disappointed him or did the exact opposite thing he had told me to do. I swear I do not ever remember crossing my Father. Well there was once but that is another story completely!! He was so smart. I hope he knows I think so today. Will my son ever think I am? At this point I would be forced to say I think not; however I am sure my dad felt the same way.

Well this one might require scotch!! Anyway hugs your kids I think I am going to get up and go hug mine. Just real tight!!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


As I sit here we are getting ready to take Christmas to a family less fortunate than us. I am blessed to have many friends and most of them are successful in one way or another. Some have money others have blessing in other ways such as health happiness and the things that are truly important. As I sit here wondering what the next 3 hours holds, I am reminded of my blessing. I have a wife who loves me without question. I have a son; crazy as he is who loves me, and I think respects me. As posted before friends second to none.

So what is prosperity? Is it money? Is it Fame? Is it health, happiness? I think it has to be happiness. Here is my logic. As I think back to my younger and poorer days, I was, and have always been happy. When I was digging ditches back in the 70’s, I was happy. When I moved to an international company and traveled all over the world, I was happy. Now in my current job I am happy. Could it really be like my granny said “Life is what you make it?” When I would spend the summers in the country working on the farm I think I picked up the life lesson of happiness. We never had a T.V. or indoor plumbing, in the country, until the late 60’s. The A/C was open windows and a fan. I can still remember lying in the bed in the attic and hearing it rain on the tin roof. No sounds ever to this day calmed me like that one. Lying there listening to the rain you were so thankful. A couple of reason one you more than likely didn’t have to work in the fields the next day and it helped the crop. Never knew how go I had it until now. As I think back on those days of really no cares and worries you never know what you have until it’s gone.

So I guess prosperity is what you make it. For me, I think it is friends and being able and willing to help someone who might not have had a Christmas. Having in some small way maybe be able to make a memory and hopefully one day when these children are grown and prosperous they will help some who is down on their luck.

So I am off to be Santa. I can assure I will raise a glass when I return, in thanks for my Prosperity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I work in a very diverse business, more so than most. There are places in my business that do millions and then there are places that do hundreds. So as you can see there are large difference in each individual accounts. I have a number of salespeople who call on all of these accounts. I happened to be with one this afternoon who has more hundreds, a few thousands and no millions. We spent the day in places that were strange to me. This salesman was wonderful. I have committed to him and me to really work hard to get all of his stores at the very least to the thousands. What struck me was I had a perception that today was going to be horrible. What a shock. I had a blast. We helped one account move some equipment. Then we went to another, there we built several things a deck, an addition on a house, and hung crown molding. Not really but in talking. We arrived at our next stop only to find out someone who worked there had gone to an ATM machine and got 3 counterfeit twenty dollar bills, from an ATM!!! Want to know another shocker we sold our product in every single store. In quantities that were not normal for this sales person. As we went from place to place, there became one common comment. We will do whatever, my salesman, needed. These people really liked and appreciated the fact my salesman comes to see them. It was almost like they have a perception of unimportance and are so glad my company actually has a person come to them they would do anything to make the sales person look good in front of, what the salesman told them, was his boss. I do not consider myself a Boss, I am, and have always been a great team player.

Strange how we have all of these perceptions of different things, people, cities, and just about anything we know very little about. Thank God for days like today. They keep me grounded and hopefully a little more open minded than most. If you take off the blinders and go without fear with a great attitude you too can have wonderful days like I had today. Here is wishing you nothing but wonderful open minded days.

I think I will cap off a wonderful day with a wonderful glass of wine.

Here’s to you..

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I have had a few friends in my life that were somewhat famous shall we say. I met Gary McCord back in the early 80’s. He was a struggling tour player and we shared a mutual friend in Dallas Texas. So a couple of times a year I saw McCord in Dallas, at the Bryon Nelson, then the following week in Fort Worth, at the Colonial. To say were friends would be a loose definition for sure. If you asked Gary he more than likely would not call it that. Anyway, when he would play in Memphis I would go out with a buddy of mine and we would run the streets at night and watch him play golf during the day. I was there the day he made a 16 on the 16th hole at Colonial Country Club here in Memphis. That night it was the lead story on Sportcenter back then instant stardom and the break he needed!! Well Gary found his rightful place on the PGA Tour, in the tower working for CBS. Many years later we were in a bar in Fort Worth during the Colonial and people kept coming up to him and speaking to him asking for autographs and stories. After about 2 hours of this I asked him “Do you ever get sick of all this attention?” He simply replied no way when they stop come up is when I will be sick. What an attitude. Here we are in public and he could have cared less for the invasive people who all seemed to come up to him as if they were his best friend!!

Well it happened again to me this morning. I am blessed to have a very dear friend who is known thought out the city here. I was talking to my buddy and up walked a couple of people; they just started in on my buddy like we were not even talking. My friend, ever the gentlemen, turned and faced each of the people vying for his attention and gave them each enough time to feel important, recognized, honored, and like they were the only people he had to talk to that minute. It struck me then what notoriety is all about. It is a robber and thief of everything you, while you are in public. When we normally get together it is at his house or mine. Rarely do we go out. We have eaten in the kitchens of some of the better restaurants in the city, or get private dining room wherever we go. He always is gracious and engaging whenever someone would come up to our table. I was thinking how blessed am I that no one knows me. I can go through out my day and no one wants a minute of my time! You know how we all think man if I were famous I’d be happy. Take it from a guy who watches people everyday who are, it is very difficult. Can you imagine, all they want to do is what I take for granted every day!! Just live one day where no one knows you.

My friend I was with this morning will take his vacations to remote places where he is not known and says it is the greatest thing in the world. We plan to get away this summer to a very private place so he and his wife can just relax and be them. And by the way the famous people I know are all very nice people. You hear the stories about what assholes some famous people are, not that I am allowing a pass here. However, I can understand the behavior in some small way. McCord always remembered if the people stopped liking him CBS would drop him like a hot potato. He never got bigger than the business. My current friend is one of the most humble men I have ever met. He is giving, kind, loving to his family and others. What a sacrifice he has made in his life for others. I guess the good lord knew that I was destined to be a “Joe the Plumber” kind of guy. I love my wife and son. I love my friends and just kind of live under the radar. What fun to go to the mall and actually get to shop and not spend the day answering questions and listening to people trying to impress you.

The most amazing thing of all is that two people like McCord and my buddy seem to always love it when they get together with me. They tell me that it is so nice to be around someone who is not trying to impress or entertain them. I just truly enjoy being with them for them not their status or stardom. Starting a couple of years ago if McCord come in town we have dinner at my house and he tells the most unbelievable stories of things that happen on the tour. The invite list for this dinner has gotten so political it almost scares me. From my bosses, to my best customers, to my best friends everyone wants to be here for the McCord dinner. Looks like I might even have a brief moment of notoriety!! But like McCord said if they stop asking you then… Strange how if he doesn’t come no one seems to want to come to dinner and hear my stories!!!!

Guess I will just be happy living my importance through other people then I can always go home to my wife and be told what to do and feel really good that someone really does care about me!!

Notoriety, not for me I don’t think. I feel like a glass of wine from a famous place like California now that is living my friend..

Friday, December 5, 2008


As I write this I am preparing for the first of many, mini Christmas party, dinners to be held at our house. Each group is made up of people I call special in my life. As I when over the upcoming dinners with the wife I realized how diverse the groups are. I am so blessed to have many friends. My father, god rest his soul, pointed this out to me one afternoon. I was bitching about something, not having anything to do, wishing someone would come by to occupy my time. He asked me what at the time what seemed like a very simple question. He said “If I asked you to pick up telephone and call my friends, how many could you call and tell them nothing other than I need you to come to my house as soon as you can get here.” How many calls would I make? I thought for a minute and said 4 or 5. He paused as if to try to let me understand my own answer. And then said something I could not believe. He said I might be able to call one person. I was shocked, to say the least. I had always thought of my Father as a well like guy. I had seen him at work and everyone seemed to like him. I began to do the only thing, at the time, I knew how to do with him argue my point. I told him I could think of at least two guys I thought would come. He laughed and said they were not friends they were people he worked with, not true friends.

Then it hit me he really didn’t socialize that much stayed kind of close to the house and always watched after us. He didn’t have anyone. We were his friends, maybe by choice but, we were his go to people. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I was blessed. I really and truly, more than likely, could have called 10 people!! If the question was asked of me today I think I could call even more.

One thing I tried hard to get across to my son was you have to be a friend to have a friend. I do not remember who taught me, maybe my Mother, to always be concerned about other people and they would be concerned for me, to give friendship and concern without expectation. Now this is not true all of the time. And yes sometimes in my life I have been used and taken advantage of, but it always seems to work out in my favor. I might pick up another important person because of the abusive person. My son to this day is not a trusting person and suffers from a lack of friends. We will not get into his issues not near enough time!!!!

So as you enter into this season ask yourself my father’s question. How many people would come to you with the only information give is “I need you, please come” hopefully many.

I am wishing you a friend and family filled holiday season. Mine will be, I promise.

To all of my friends thank you for your time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Customer Service

As I have just returned from a brief outing on Black Friday or whatever they call the day after Thanksgiving to retail. It occurred to me that customer service is no longer a priority in the retail sector at least in the big box stores. I thought about this before Thanksgiving as I had to pick something up rather quickly and popped into a Schnuck’s. Kroger is my normal store. After running in and getting the few items I needed as I walked out it occurred to me how nice everyone in the store had been to me. I was asked a couple of times if “I was finding everything OK”. All of the people seemed friendly and smiled and nodded. When I got to the check out another question about finding everything ok and the standard paper or plastic but the guy seemed genuine, which I truly think I have never heard before.

Then there was today. I understand that today is absolutely walking thru the bowels of hell, if you work retail. I have been there and done that in a couple of retail applications. Liquor Store New Years Eve and Christmas Holidays in a mall setting. Both were pretty much bad. However, I am still dumbfounded by the people who work retail and are rude and uncaring.
Wal-Mart has to be the worst. I think they know you are there because of price and don’t give a damn whether you buy something or not. They know that there will be another sap, right behind you, to take your place. Then you have Target they were extremely nice to me today, the check out lady had the proper Santa hat on and greeted every customer kindly and showed care and concern if they had even the slightest issue. I am sure somewhere in those 15 lanes of cashiers was a butthole, but not within my ear shot.

And while we are on customer service, I do not eat fast food as a rule. However, if I do it is Backyard Burger or Chick fil a only. These two restaurants could offer the best customer service around. Now explain to me how you get a bunch of who gives a damn high school kids to speak to every person who walks in the door and bring you your food in a nice an service oriented manner. They should bottle that kool aid and sell it to the big box stores, especially this time of year.

If you want to pay top dollar no doubt Oak Hall, James Davis, Ann Taylor and any other outlet owned by a real person who might be in the building is a good customer service experience more than likely.

So this year lets all support the local independents be restaurant or retail services. We might spend a couple of bucks more but I will almost guarantee you will enjoy it.

Happy holidays and hope all of your customers service exchanges this year are kind ones.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Epilog

Well we all made it thought another feeding frenzy. I think this year was the worst of all for me. We visited one place then when to our main destination and ate both places!! WOW

Talked to my son, my sister, they represent all of the family I have anymore, as far as blood goes. You know I really missed my Mom as I was putting that succotash on my plate tonight. Stopped and told her I loved her, and missed her madly. I think she might have heard me over all of the noise at her table. You know the cool thing is no one ever really dies until they are not remembered. I decided tonight I am going to remember all of my family ever day for a minute so they never really die.

Hope you remember those that have gone before us, and especially the ones who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms with their lives. We really need to remember those men and women.

Now remember your family and love your friends. I’m going to bed to much wine and food.
Hope yours was as nice as mine.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


As I sit here thinking about the events of the next few days I am wondering about numerous things. This is the first Thanksgiving I will not be able to speak to my Mother. My son is on an Air Force Base in Texas. Now I will not be alone by any means, I have the greatest friends on the planet. We will be together as we have been for the last 10 years or so. But this year there will be a large hole, my Mom. Then I have this thought. How selfish can one person be? Depending on your faith, this will be my Moms best Thanksgiving in over 22 years. You see my Father die in 1986. They will be together. Not only that but all of my grandparents, all of my uncles and aunts safe one are there as well. Now I am starting to get it. I have that to really be thankful for. I know the foods will be wonderful on Thursday where I am. However, it can’t touch everything my Mother will get this year. There will be my aunt’s coconut cake, granny’s pecan pie, and sweet potatoes that no one has ever been able to replicate.

In this me, me world this is a great thing to think about. If you share my faith, that when we die we go to a better place, if you have lived a good and decent live. Then even your family and friends whom have gone before are together as well and the table will be set with love and happiness. And we think we have it good!

I think this Thanksgiving I will be just a little jealous as I think about the majority of my family will be together, just not with me. Make no mistake I look forward to when I am at that table. However, I still have a lot of things I have to do before I am ready for that one!! I want to see my Son marry and have children. Especially the one that I will put the “curse” on to be just like him!!! I want to see what live is like in retirement mode. I will be living on the beach somewhere and can’t wait for that morning walk with my lovely wife every morning. I want to see my Memphis sister have her first grandchild. This child will be treated like the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama!! Its feet will not touch the ground until well past its third birthday!! So please leave me here for a while.

Well I guess I need to go to Feinberg packing company and pick up my traditional fresh ham. Here is wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. And may your Thanksgiving table be filled with thanks and joy. I know where there will be two just like that….

Sunday, November 23, 2008


As I sit here, looking into my fireplace, enjoying the warmth and crackling fire. I realize that as I enter this stage of my life I need to reevaluate my goals. I had this brought to my attention at the office on Friday. Most of the people I work with are younger than me. I have become complacence in my job. I let the kids go out and show me up!

Well over this weekend I have kind of rededicated myself to my work. I am also setting new goals. This time they are more short term. Like 5 or 6 years out. They include things like retirement, weight issues, finance, health and other things that I did when I was a much younger man. Understanding now you never should go through life without a purpose, an idea, or plan of where you want to go. I am working on a new set of plans and ideas that will take me all the way to Florida. Sitting on my back porch watching the ocean and loving every single day I have left. I can see the house now, right on the water. Nice beach area and of course small boat house with a couple of toys inside. Wonderful kitchen fully stocked with all of the bells and whistles. In the Dining room, that looks over the water, 10 large chairs around a solid wood round table. Off the dining room and wine cellar stocked to the max with only the wines I have loved over the last 20 years. I can smell the sweet salty air as well.

Well I said all of that to hopefully get you thinking about your on life. Are you just going through the motions? Man I hope not as we all know this is not a dress rehearsal! What is the old saying, Love like you will never be hurt, dance like no one is watching, and sing like no one can hear? Not too sure that is it but you get the picture.
Well Beef Stroganoff is calling and I think a very nice Cabernet tonight!


Life can be many things, cruel, kind, sad and any number of emotions we allow into our lives. I know this is a bit philosophical for this lowly blog. However, my life has been through so many changes during the last few months I feel the need to just simply talk about them.

My Mother recently died. I am parentless for the first time in my life. I never thought much about how much you depend on your parents, even as we age. I have a great job, a wonderful wife, a nice home, but I still called my Mother every Sunday. We would talk, and share stories of the week. I never understood how important that was to me. I always thought I was doing it for her. HA! I got as much, if not more, out of those conversations than she ever did. As I think back on them now, wishing I could have just one more. I hope anyone reading this, who still has parents or a parent will pick up the phone and call them right now, it is that important.

My son is in the US Air Force, Special Operations. WOW, I remember him running around talking back, and doing the things kids do. Making grades I thought were well below his abilities. Making messes I thought were well beyond anything’s capabilities; and in general making my life as difficult as he could. As I think about it now as he is waiting for a base assignment, and the Middle East is a very good possibility. I kind of wish he was here to make me miserable!!

I have started going to church! Anyone who knows me knows this is a very large step forward for me. Funny how when I was a kid, I would eat a rat to stay home. Now I am getting up at 6:00 on Sunday morning, at church by 8:00am. Truly a huge change for me. And the fact that I enjoy it is a bit odd to me as well. I go to Hope. You should check it out one Sunday.

I guess as we age there are a lot of changes in our lives. We move a little slower, think a little longer before we speak; A trait I wished I had learned many years ago for sure. I guess all this is to tell myself I am entering a new, and exciting stage of my life. Now, I am the one the child calls on Sunday. I am going to try to remember, that one day, he will be in my position and if he wants to tell me some crazy story about going to the club last night and what happened I will be a little more willing to listen in my new role. I hope this stage lasts a long time. I am going to enjoy this part. I have done the 65-70 hour weeks and the burning the candle at both ends. I think it is time to pull it back to a solid 45, maybe 50 in rough weeks. Cook for friends, drink all of that wine I have been saving for a special occasion.

As I reread this it almost seems like I am retiring which I am not! I am just going to take off the blinders the finish line will come. I do not have to win. The simple fact I am still in the game, at a high level, is very satisfying.

May all of your days be good ones, and if not may the bad ones pass quickly.

Go enjoy a great glass of wine, I know I am.....