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.