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To Dad…

Happy Father’s Day coming this Sunday!  Aren’t fathers and grandfathers great?  The memory of my father still brings a proud smile to my face (and my heart!).  If you’re lucky enough to have living fathers and grandfathers, give them a hug Sunday.

We fathers are so proud when our children demonstrate the skill of common sense we hope we have instilled in them:

Kid wisdom:

When your Dad is mad at you and asks you, “Do I look stupid?”  Don’t answer him. 

Michael

Sometimes our Dads employ “tough-love”.  The worst years of my life occurred when I was trying such a tough-love approach.  I wasn’t skilled at it; didn’t like the outcome; and today would caution any young father to be wary of this idea.  If I could do it over, I would do it differently.

But the good news is my children are resilient.  Yours are too.  (Did they get that from us?)  If we are tough with them from time-to-time, they know it’s not permanent – kids are smart:

A flustered father, stressed out from his day at work, was unsuccessfully texting his kids to come in for dinner.  Finally, he walks out on his porch and yells for his kids to come in.

At that point one youngster turns to his brother and asks, “I can’t remember, which one am I – Jesus Christ or God Dammit?” 

Unknown Sage

Some men have a very entertaining view of the world, true?  Take Mike Jaeger’s point:

Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he’ll believe you.  Tell him the plate you’re handing him is very hot and he’ll have to touch it to believe it.

Dads today take great pride in continuing to provide a home for their families, even if the definition of “home” has evolved:

Home, nowadays, is a place where part of the family waits ‘til the rest of the family brings the car back. 

Earl Wilson

And because my sons have children in their lives, I get to be the grandfather now!   Being the grandfather has responsibilities, too:

Sometimes the only difference we can make is passing our wisdom on to someone else who will make the bigger difference. 

Linda B. Gray

The older I get the more appreciative I am of the love and devotion I received from my father.   He wanted his sons to make a difference.  He also wanted us to be patient with some of his quirkiness.  I remember after my Mom died, my Dad ate his dinners at the hospital cafeteria two blocks from his house.  It might have been for the convenience; maybe for the memory of the last place he saw his wife alive.

He ate dinner there every evening for over twenty years.  So long, that the employees all thought Al Pokorn actually worked there.  One summer, he was even invited to their company picnic!  I didn’t mind this quirky charade.  But when he won the TV in the employee raffle, I told him he had to give it back!

We are all a little quirky I suppose.  Today when my children use one of my little sayings, or demonstrate a family value or tradition that has been passed down from father to son, it brings a proud smile to my face (and my heart)!

So here’s to my Dad; and your Dad; and everyone’s Dad and their family traditions.  They have helped us all make a difference – a tradition to be passed down.

GAP

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Doing alright…

“How are you doing?”  That is a common greeting these days, yes?  And our response often depends on our mood.  For many, we have a choice over our moods; a degree of control; a consciousness of why we are in the mood we are in.  But not all of us…

Dedicated to those amazing people who unlike me, face each day “doing alright”; which means so much more:

Like Eric.  I have known Eric for 43 years this coming Saturday – his birthday.  Over that period Eric’s Mom and Dad have shared some of his most joyous occasions; and some of his most upsetting events; and in between these highs and lows Eric would tell you that he has been doing alright.  And for Eric, doing alright shows how amazing he truly is.

You see, Eric is the strongest person I know.  I’ll give you an example.  Close your eyes and return to the happiest day of your life – feel how you felt during your most exhilarating moments.  OK, now think back to how you felt on your saddest, darkest, most depressed day ever.  Just set those mental bookmarks in your mind’s eye.  There is an unbelievably wide and powerful range of human emotion, yes?

For most of us, we migrate from our highest highs and our lowest lows slowly; with long, “recovery” spans of simply feeling average in between.  Unfortunately, Eric is different; his mood swings back and forth, between euphoric highs and debilitating lows in a matter of minutes – multiple times – every hour!  Now picture your life with his type of mood swings – as if our other challenges aren’t enough to deal with.

Rapid Cycling – that’s the technical term for Eric and others who suffer from Bi-Polar Disorder.  And Eric lives every day with this unwelcome guest.  Medical science is not much help.  Bi-Polar Disorder is an affliction of the brain; and very difficult to properly diagnose and treat.  Trial and error, mostly.  That means people with Bi-Polar Disorder typically wind up dealing with this on their own.

Most can’t hold down a steady job.  Eric can – and he has consistently been a “go to” person for his company.  He is a skilled tradesman; good with customers; dependable; hard working; shows up no matter what; a positive attitude that no job is too tough; that’s Eric.  Most people with Bi-Polar Disorder can’t live independently.  Eric does – and if you met him, you would never know the internal turmoil he is living with.  He has a pleasant personality; a great smile; a nice sense of humor; knowledgeable of current events; just like the rest of us.

But Eric isn’t really like the rest of us.  Just getting up and facing the day; every day; takes enormous strength.  And he offers no excuses – never has.  Eric has earned success and experienced failure.  No matter; Eric treats each day anew, the best he possibly can. And when you greet him saying, “Hi. How you doing?”  you will almost always hear him say, “I’m doing alright”. 

If Eric does alright each and every day even though feeling these uncontrollable mood swings – should we do any less?

No, I don’t have Bi-Polar Disorder, but it lives next door. And though I don’t have it, I can see first-hand the strength Eric has as he lives with it.  I’m very proud to say that Eric is my son.  And one day I hope to learn the source of his amazing strength so I too can be, “doing alright”.

GAP

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Moms are special…

My Mom was special – I bet your Mom is (or was) special, too.  Sunday is Mother’s Day.  In mind; in memory; or in person; be sure to make it a special day for your Mom.  Sending flowers is not enough.  Make her the center of your attention if only for one day.

My wife is a special Mom.  She continues to lovingly mother our grown boys and our grandchildren even while their father worries, “How do I get all of these kids off the payroll?”  But I digress.  She keeps our entire, extended family together.

Our Moms have a special sense of humor:

A wife invited some people to dinner.  At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”  I wouldn’t know what to say”, the girl replied.  “Just say what you hear Mommy say”, the wife answered.  The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?” 

Unknown Sage

Our Moms are special teachers.  Remember the life-long lessons you learned from your Mother?  Back to our Unknown Sage:

What my Mother taught me:

My Mother taught me logic;

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

My Mother taught me irony;

“Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My Mother taught me about the science of osmosis:

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper!”

Even Bill Gates has a take (including Mom and Dad in his reference to his parents – and ours):

Excerpt from Bill Gates’ speech to Mount Whitney High School, Visalia, CA:

Rule 1 – Life is not fair; get used to it…

Rule 7 – Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Our Moms have a special and immeasurable reservoir of power, true?  My Mom did.  She was stricken with cancer when I was 6 years old.  In fact, I can no longer remember a time when she was not ill.  The last 15 years of her life were spent undergoing continuous treatments:

I watched my Mom’s great power, which she needed in order to deal with a new cancer treatment in the late 1960’s that was so unimaginably harsh – that the administration of this treatment was solely based on the primitive science of trial and error – where the doctors’ routine consisted of observing how much of a dose could she tolerate without dying from the treatment.

It was an experimental treatment back then; offered only as a last resort for terminally ill cancer patients. This wasn’t a cancer cure; just a radical option to extend one’s life another year or two.  It was due to her staying power (and that of many other patients like her) before she finally succumbed in 1974, that has helped pave the way to the development of the commonly used, life-saving cancer treatment we all know today as chemotherapy.

How many special Moms have died fighting terrible diseases (and brutal treatments) so the rest of us can benefit from the exaggerated term, “modern medicine”?

Mother’s Day – make it special for your Mom if she’s living; make it special for you through your memories of your Mom if she’s not.

GAP

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40 years from now…

Posted Mar 6 2019 by in True North with 0 Comments

I recently read a newspaper article about a trend with millennials who are borrowing from their 401(k) accounts to buy a house.  The article didn’t say whether it was their parents’ house (where they’ve already taken over the basement LoL!)  OK; OK; that’s a bad joke we Boomers tell too often.

The article suggested millennials’ retirement needs that will arise some 40 years in the future are not a priority.  I get it – 40 years seems a long way off.  Truth be told, 40 years ago I would have been holding an actual paper, newspaper.  Do you think we’ll even be reading newspapers (digital or otherwise) 40 years from now?

When I was reading the newspaper I was actually reading the “paper” on my smart phone.  I don’t know why we call it a “phone” anymore – we seem to use it for everything but making phone calls.  Do you think we’ll even have cell phones 40 years from now?

According to Fox News Tech, cellular technology was quite the novelty, “40 years ago…”  http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/04/03/first-mobile-phone-call-was-placed-40-years-ago-today.html  That article was published in 2013 referring to a 1973 event – actually 46 years ago.  I bet millennials think of 1973 as the Dark Ages.

A lot has been said and even more has been written about the millennial generation which is poised to dominate the workplace – and the world!

At my company not a day goes by without some announcement and/or recognition about our college recruits.  I understand our enthusiasm.  These young professionals are bright, articulate, abundant, and affordable; all-in-all, awesome!

Yet, I find the absence of discussion about my generation – Baby Boomers – a bit concerning.  Do others think we should be retired (or dead) by now?  Now Walmart is eliminating greeters.  Believe it or not – we’re awesome too!

It’s easier to have the vigor of youth when you’re old than the wisdom of age when you’re young. 

Richard J. Needham

Too old; too expensive; too inflexible; too technically illiterate; there are many pop culture; bad jokes affixed to us Boomers.  Our knowledge, skills, and experience seem no longer to be celebrated.  But really – we are not “too old”:

Leonardo DaVinci was fifty six years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.

Leonardo lived into the 16th century.  Not exactly the Dark Ages; and no – I didn’t know him personally!

I wonder what the millennials think they will be doing 40 years from now.  If they’re already spending monies ear-marked for retirement, will they not need savings in 2059?

Maybe they think the high paying technology jobs companies are hiring them for (in some cases instead of more experienced aka “older” workers) will last for the next 40 years.  Maybe they think they will earn so much money, so quickly, that they can retire early; open a boutique; and enjoy a self-employed lifestyle that will carry them through to their sunset.  The optimism and the possibilities seem limitless.

But wait a minute… unless I’ve succumbed to Alzheimer’s or Dementia this week, it seems to me that 40 years ago those were the aspirations of my generation!  Then life happened:

Life is what happens when we’ve made other plans. 

Susan Jeffers

Well, maybe today’s youth have everything figured out.  But just in case, they might consider upping their contributions to some kind of account they will rely on when their children’s generation are ready to take over the world (and their jobs).  That day may arrive sooner for them than 40 years from now.

GAP

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Thank you again and always…

‘Tis the season of thankfulness.  Not that we should wait during the rest of the year to say, “Thank you”, but certainly the Thanksgiving holiday remind us of our blessings, don’t you agree?  So before going any further – permit me to say, “Thank you”!

Thankfully, I am blessed with family, friends, clients and colleagues who enrich my life beyond count.  Thankfully, smart people have put counting in the proper perspective:

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. 

Albert Einstein

Thankfully, I have readers who accept my periodic posts and reciprocate with responses of kindness.

I can’t count all that I am thankful for; nor all of the times I have wanted to thank someone for their kindness.  But I am thankful for sure.  I’m thankful for living in Denver – most of the time anyway:

Welcome to Denver:

The morning rush hour is from 5:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.  Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday.

Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Denver has its own version.  The car or truck with the loudest muffler goes next at a 4-way stop.  The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.  Blue-haired, green-haired, or cranberry-haired ladies driving anything have the right of way all of the time.

North and South only vaguely resemble the real direction of certain streets.  University and Colorado are two boulevards that run parallel.  Geometry evidently not working at altitude, these streets intersect south of C470.

Highway 285 runs North, South, East and West and every direction in between; it can be found in every section of the Denver area making navigation very interesting.  You can turn west onto southbound 285; you can turn north onto westbound C470; and you can drive southeast on the Northwest Parkway.  This is why Denver uses the additional driving directions of “out”, “up”, “in”, “down”, and sometimes “over”.

Construction barrels are permanent, and are simply moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day’s drive more challenging.  When you see an orange cone, you must stop and then move ahead slowly until there are no more cones.  There need not be construction, just cones.

If someone has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been accidentally activated.

If it’s 70 degrees, Thanksgiving is probably next week; if it’s snowing, it’s probably the weekend after Memorial Day.

If you stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended or cussed-out.  A red light means four more cars can go through.  Not three; not five.  Four.  Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  Never yield at a “Yield” sign.  The yield sign is like an appendix; it once had a purpose but nobody can remember what it was.

Just because a street on the east side of town has the same name as a street on the west side of town doesn’t mean they’re connected. 

Unknown Sage

Thankfully we will spend time with family, friends, food, and fun with a little football during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Let’s take a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for and remember the origin of our blessings:

Thank you Lord.  I may never have a lot; but I have always had enough.

Thankfully we can all share the peace and power of a positive perspective this Thanksgiving holiday – and every day.

GAP

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To our cowboys …

I wrote a little ditty once about being yourself, costumes, self-improvement, and my dog (see http://thequoteguys.com/2012/11/be-yourself/ ).  In it I said that for Halloween that year I wore an American Cowboy costume to my wife’s Halloween party.  I also confessed that I’m no cowboy.

I’m fascinated by cowboys and the traditions of the American West.  Businesses and business executives in this country could make things better for all of us if more leaders heeded the advice found in one of my favorite books (and a source for more than a few quotes when writing these little ditties):  Cowboy Ethics© by James P. Owen:

I have come to realize that anybody can make money; it is much harder to make a difference.

The book was a gift from a client of mine from several years ago, Steve Major.  Working for Steve made a difference in my life.  And his leadership ethics made a positive impact on the lives of many other people that worked for him, too.

My son Kevin continues to make a difference in my life.  We are celebrating his birthday this week – I thought you might like this present I gave him a few years ago.  This is the opening to chapter seven in my book, The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©.  Enjoy!

Chapter VII: Cowboy Up – You’ll Get Through It!

Dedicated to the American Cowboy – may we all learn to be more like them.

Now, I’m no cowboy; but I know one.

Cowboys are quiet, polite – men of few words; comfortable just listening while others around them bark at the moon nonstop.

No, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve heard one.

Cowboys have a reserve of strength far and above the average person – physical strength to be sure; but also great emotional strength.

I’m definitely no cowboy; but I’ve seen one.

Cowboys have the ability to remain in control even while every living thing around them, man and beast, spooks in mortal fear.

True, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve been protected by one.

Cowboys remain focused even with adrenaline rushing through their veins when they’re bull riding, or racing flat out, one-handed on horseback, to rope an escaping calf.

Yes, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve lived with one.

Cowboys are fearless especially at the age of 15 when they look down in the chute and prepare to mount a bare back bucking bronco at their very first high school rodeo competition.

Absolutely, I’m no cowboy; but I’ve filmed one looking down that very chute.

Cowboys always believe they can.  The cowboy feels that sigh of relief when he’s all twisted up in the dirt, having fallen off a stumbling horse and the rodeo announcer comes on the PA system and says, “Well folks, he’ll have an option for a re-ride.”

So, I’m no cowboy, but I’ve sat next to his Mother in the stands when we heard that Rodeo Announcer come over the P.A. System to say, “Well folks, he’ll have an option for a re-ride.” And as the announcer glanced down to the stands to see her reaction he quickly added, “But his Mother says NO!”

You see, I know a lot about cowboys.  That’s why I’m so sure I’m not one.  No, I’m no cowboy, but my son Kevin is.  And every day I try to be a little bit more like him.

Yes, American cowboys are still among us.  And my son Kevin is one of them.  Happy birthday Kevin!  I love you, Dad.

GAP

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To Jack Schnee…

Our best friend’s Dad passed away last year.  After 89 years, his passing came suddenly and unexpectedly.  He was preparing to go in for knee replacement surgery; his knee was bothering him when he went dancing.  He was felled by a stroke.

Although I didn’t know him very well, the way his eldest daughter and son-in-law (aka our best friends) spoke of him it was obvious he loved life.  He reminded me of my Dad’s love of life.  They called him every Sunday for a weekly update along with the enjoyment of a gin martini toast albeit separated by 900 miles.  We should all be so loved and fulfilled.

Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  I’m way past my beginning.  It’s the delineation between the middle and the end that isn’t quite as clear.  But as friends and family around me reach their end, I always pause to reflect.  How about you?

Here’s how Michael E. Gerber sets up one such reflection:

I’d like you to imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of your life.  It will be held in a room sufficiently large to seat all of your friends, your family, your business associates – anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you.  Can you see it? 

The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries.  The lighting is subdued, soft, casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests.  Their chairs are handsomely upholstered in a golden fabric that matches the tapestries.  The golden carpeting is deeply piled.  At the front of the room is a Dias, and on the Dias a large, beautifully decorated table, with candles burning at either end.  On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention.  A large, shining, ornate box.  And in the box is … you!  Stiff as the proverbial board. 

What do you think?  If you were able to reflect while in that box surrounded by everyone you have interacted with throughout your life. What would go through your mind?

Rather not think about it?  Your prerogative, but its inevitable for us all.  And at my age, I think about being old, over the hill, past the middle:

Baker’s Byroad  

When you are over the hill, you pick up speed.  

So far, I’ve resisted gravity pretty well.  I continue to live each day with my best effort.  Of course, some days I (like you) have “one of those days”, but that’s part of living, too.  Dealing with adversities enables us to richly enjoy life’s accomplishments, true?

Besides, I follow Baruch when thinking about how old I am:

Baruch’s Rule for Determining Old Age  

Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.  

Of course, those millennials in my work place that I write of often have a different opinion.  Every time we hire a new group of college grads I imagine hearing one of them say, “Is it bring your grandfather to work day?”  I suppose they would chuckle thinking I can’t hear very well anymore.

It’s all good for me though – I love being around youth:

It’s easier to have the vigor of youth when you’re old than the wisdom of age when you’re young. 

Richard J. Needham  

So, here’s to you Jack Schnee.  Here’s to your life; your style; your zest; your family; and your legacy.  Here’s to dancing with the Lord now; never to worry about knee pain again.

GAP

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How was your day?

One year ago last week, I was in an earthquake in Mexico City; a 7.1.  How do you work that into casual conversation?

September 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm local time, a powerful earthquake shook the bejeezus out of my training class; our lunch break; my colleagues and me!  Thankfully, no one in our group got hurt.

Unfortunately, there were many in Mexico City and surrounding states that did get hurt; over 200 people killed; hundreds perhaps thousands injured.  According to The Guardian ©;

It was the second major earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks and came on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City, killing 5,000 people and destroying 10,000 homes.

In fact, because of that 32nd anniversary; commemorating that devastation; we actually had an emergency evacuation drill at 11am in 2017.  Just about 2 hours before the real thing hit again!

During the episode, I wasn’t afraid; but I was not brave either.  I was conscious of the fact we were experiencing an earthquake – on the 19th floor of a hotel no less.  What started out feeling like a freight train passing by, causing the table to vibrate quickly erupted into what seemed like a prolonged period of ferocious shaking; I could not keep my feet.

Those much braver than I were calling out; directing us towards the archway leading into the room.  Firmly they instructed us to move away from the windows; calmly, they reassured us that we will be alright.

I remember looking out the window and seeing the glass buildings across the plaza actually swaying.  It was surreal; it reminded me of that scene in movie The Matrix when the helicopter crash caused a ripple through the facade of a glass office tower.

My overriding feeling today is one of disappointment.  So many had invested so much before the earthquake hit – and after.  Gustavo Moussalli, out Latin American Division Director and the executive sponsor for the class had made a huge commitment to his local partners; coordinating a 3-day enablement class to support their success.

Gerardo Diez Martinez, our local Channel Manager made all the arrangements.  The meeting rooms and set-up; AV equipment; food and beverage; Gerardo spared no expense to insure we would have everything we needed for his partners.

My colleague Susanna Lagtapon sacrificed time away from her daughter’s 13th birthday; traveling instead to join us for the class.  Our colleague, Tony Caporal, with cooler head and bravery, prevailed following the earthquake.  He helped us retrieve our laptops and luggage.  (Even stopping at the lobby bar to grab a free beer on his way out of the hotel.)

Our VP, Brian Enright, was our “home base”; coordinating flights out of town; hotel reservations; and anything else he could do to support us from afar.

And especially Hector Garcia from our long-time partner NetSoft.  Hector insisted on personally driving us to the airport; would not hear of us taking a taxi or a bus.  He would navigate us through the city streets; on constant vigil for our safety.  Three hours to drive us 12 kilometers.  Three hours in the opposite direction from his own home and family – taking us in his care.

As with all disasters, there were many heroes – named and unnamed.  But that was 2017; Mexico City; and an earthquake.  Today, it’s another crisis; another natural disaster; another conflict.

We are all thankful for so many first responders and other heroes – named and unnamed.  May God bless them all.

GAP

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Obliviousness …

I suffer from this affliction; drives my wife crazy!  It generally happens when I’m watching TV, or as she describes it, I become the TV.  Now that football season is here, I probably won’t be “fully present” until March of 2019.

When you Google obliviousness, the worldwide interweb says it means:

unmindful; unconscious; unaware

Easy for the machines to say – they might just be the root cause of this common condition among us humans, true?  I mean, putting in ear buds and relaxing with our favorite internet music to decompress from the day’s trials and tribulations is one thing.  Texting on our smart phones while weaving through congested traffic on our way to work is something totally different.  The former is a conscious act of seeking unconsciousness to relieve stress.  The latter is an unmindful act of seeking death and destruction.

OK, OK, I suppose those texters are not truly seeking death and destruction – that’s just the potential result of their machine-induced, obliviousness, don’t you think?  I mean study after study is showing we are becoming addicted to our cellular devices – my wife would say we are becoming our cellular devices!

Let’s face it – obliviousness is growing like a weed.  But to be fair, it is not reflective of our true nature.  It simply shows how unaware we can (and are) becoming.  Take for instance my friend who is a flight attendant.  She told me about this incident that another flight attendant colleague of hers witnessed:

A flight attendant was responding to a medical emergency in flight.  A passenger was found not breathing and had no pulse. As her crewmates were preparing the AED (automated external defibrillator) and on the public address system, asking if there were any doctors on-board; a first class passenger pulled off her head phones for a moment not observing the commotion going on behind her to ask, “What about my hot tea”?  Without missing a beat the flight attendant replied, “Just let me get everyone breathing first”.

Monica

I’d say that first class passenger was suffering from an acute case of obliviousness, wouldn’t you?

With today’s modern technology accouterments, it is almost like we are becoming hermits.  Almost.  BTW, if you check a thesaurus on the word accouterments, you’ll find “trappings”. I digress – but the machines made me do it!

According to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary (See, I’m also online while I’m writing this little ditty.  At least I’m not behind the wheel weaving in and out of traffic on the highway!) the word hermit means:

one that retires from society and lives in solitude especially for religious reasons: recluse

The online dictionary even goes on to offer “Recent examples of hermit from the Web” and this link: Why Digital Detox Won’t Solve All Your Problems.  I guess even Bloomberg is acknowledging the state of our obliviousness and offering suggestions favoring moderation.

I don’t think our technology-driven, hermit-like behavior is based on religious reasons, do you?  Although I suppose some might believe God is found on the internet.  I certainly hope we’re not all becoming digital hermits; recluses; uncaring toward our family, friends and neighbors.  I think we’re just suffering from a case of obliviousness.  We’re not using our devices these days; we’re becoming our devices!

I don’t know of a good remedy mind you.  You could consult the Google machine but I doubt we can count on those darn machines to help us stay away from those darn machines.  They probably believe they’re on a mission from God.

GAP

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Rules and traditions…

Did you watch the U.S. Open golf tournament recently?  It was on Father’s Day and on Father’s Day I enjoy watching golf.  Years ago, I used to play instead of watching.  It’s a tradition my father taught his sons.  I passed that tradition down to my older son and he is continuing it with my grandson.  Golf can sometimes be painful even though traditional:

A golfer, searching for a ball lost deep in the rough, asked the caddie, “Why do you keep looking at that pocket watch?  It isn’t a watch”, the caddie said.  “It’s a compass.”

Unknown Sage

Like most major golf tournaments, the U.S. Open had its share of post-tournament commentary and debate.  Do you remember the hype?  What was the loudest; that the course was set up unfairly; that 28-year-old Brooks Koepka won for the second year in a row (a feat last accomplished 29 years ago); that Phil Mickelson broke USGA Rule 14-5?

Oh, you’re not familiar with USGA Rule 14-5?  You know – it’s that hitting-a-moving-ball rule golfers must abide by.  Golf has plenty of rules and traditions whether there is a title on the line or not.  Many of these traditions are passed down from generation to generation:

Golfer Tommy Bolt is known for his sweet swing and foul temper.  While giving a clinic to a group of amateurs, Bolt tried to show his softer side by involving his 14-year old son in the lesson.  “Show the nice folks what I taught you”, said Bolt.  His son obediently took a 9-iron, cursed, and hurled it into the sky. 

Thomas Roswell

Yes, losing one’s cool is considered a golfing tradition.  Even Phil Mickelson can succumb.  And when a golf celebrity, or any celebrity for that matter, loses their cool in public, the media must highlight it; debate it; and rerun it over and over again.  It’s a rule.

When it comes to golf; rules and traditions take on an even more powerful role – they almost become laws:

Keiko’s Law of Golf

The only way to avoid hitting a tree is to aim at it. 

Unknown Sage

When I used to play, I remember hitting more than my share of trees.  I guess Keiko’s Law was among all of the other rules I traditionally ignored.

Of course, sitting down for four hours to watch golf on TV can ruffle a few feathers on the home front.  Fortunately, I’m a modern man; I DVD’ed that tournament.  We had the kids and grandkids over for a BBQ – a Father’s Day celebration.  There’s a rule in our household that weekends, and celebrations start with work.  My sons and granddaughter helped install new handles on our kitchen cabinets.  Afterwards we ate, drank, and celebrated.

When you own an old ranch house with horses in the back yard, there is always work to be done.  No matter what weekend, whether a birthday party or a holiday celebration, we invite the family over and … get to work.  It’s our tradition more so than golf.

I believe in hard work.  It keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit. 

Helena Rubinstein

I enjoyed the chance to follow the Father’s Day tradition of golf that my father taught me.  It was also a day of celebration – and work – a tradition I have taught my children and grandchildren.  Next year I’ll vote for the golf part again; but everyone knows we will wind up working too.  I’m not sure if that’s a tradition or a rule.

GAP

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