My oldest is 34 today – What is that all about

Today is January 3, 2016.

34 years ago the announcement that may have been printed in the local paper would have said, “Mr Teddy Burriss & his lovely wife Rebecca (aka Bum) are the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl.”

Jessie

I asked them not to print that because I had yet to see our newborn baby bounce. And, Rebecca did not want me to test her.

True story – As an infant, I dropped her once and I was not testing the bounce theory.

Fast forward to yesterday when this observation of being the Father of a 34 year old really hit me.

I decided to look back at the past 34 years and review the memories.

Here are the ones that came to mind the quickest, not necessarily in chronological order:

  • 8lbs, 1 oz, 21.5″ long, ear is red from doctor using forceps, no birth marks
  • very alert, as if to be asking “who is that loud guy?”
  • blue eyes, ultimately blond hair at year 1
  • Ronald Regan was our President
  • loved to put food in her hair
  • Loves mashed potatoes
  • face plant at the pool
  • cousins
  • burb-bottom
  • loves to help mom cook
  • Dad hung Aubrey (the doll)
  • at Fireworks – ‘change the channel please’
  • “I’ll have Chicken nuggets and for my two sides I’ll have mashed potatoes and mashed potatoes”
  • Made me smile day one and still today
  • Short curly hair as a child
  • She loves (loved?) mismatched clothes
  • Play music and she danced. More like her mommy, not her daddy
  • Put a crayon or pencil in her hand and she smiled as she wrote words
  • She loves to learn
  • She loves the teachers who care to teach her
  • She asks lots of questions
  • She was as beautiful as a child as she is today
  • No, she did not have me wrapped around her little finger
  • I gave her my favorite little car
  • Miss curfew and Mom will run down the sidewalk in her big fluffy yellow robe & curlers in her hair to yell at you and your boy friend
  • She was clear and precise at finding her life partner. Skips celebrations on Leap Year since 2000
  • Her husband is a good choice.
  • The trials and tribulations of becoming a tenant. Slum lords suck
  • Love pushes you to achieve lots of goals, including your husband’s US Citizenship. It was all him, but with a good women behind him
  • Early Home Owner  because you built your Credit Score
  • You became a fabulous mommy in development on 5/13/2003
  • “What do you hear?”, “I hear two”, “two what”, “heart beats”, “where”, in there”, “in her?”….
  • A business woman has Focus, Passion, Desire, Attitude, Ability, Purpose, Goal, Compassion, Faith and never lets anything stop her from building a thriving business that changes peoples lives in a positive way
  • Landlord, Home Owner & Mortgage Banker
  • Yeah, we’ll have 4 children
  • Your family is my family, let’s do what we can to help them
  • Our home is their home
  • We are responsible for her success because we brought her to our home. We’ll treat her like our daughter.
  • Tippy
  • Becca
  • Rosie
  • Bubble Lips
  • Hard work is only for those who don’t love their business
  • Yes baby, we’ll move to Raleigh because you love your job
  • Tree
  • Luge in the back yard in the winter
  • Walking in the blizzard
  • Can I play with the computer Daddy?
  • What is the Internet and how do you make money using it?
  • Myrtle
  • GrandWeWaps
  • Dad bought a bra
  • Boss & Leader
  • Entrepreneur
  • Activist
  • Writer
  • Why is Izzy crying now?
  • Columnist
  • If the answer should be yes, she’ll not take no for an answer.
  • Smart
  • Sassy
  • Frugal
  • Moola Saving Mom is a success!
  • Strategist
  • Happy
  • Loving

My daughter – Jessie Lee.

I am a blessed Man. I have four beautiful smart, compassionate daughters. Each raising their own family. Being a Blessed Dad kicked off for me 34 years ago.

Happy Birthday Jessie

I love you

Dad

Here are some images that sparked my memories

New Years Eve Failure or Not

New Years Eve Failure or Not?

FatherTimeLast night, 12/31/14 Bum & I went to a local bar for a New Year’s Eve Celebration that failed, but was yet a great time.

Our daughter Megan and her husband Marc invited us (Bum & I) to join them at Classics Bar & Grill in Advance NC, right down the road from where I live. Normally we do not go out on New Year’s Eve, but thought this would be fun to do, so we agreed.

We got there at 7pm and there were less than 20 people in the bar. The table area was nearly completely empty.

After ordering a round the waitress  told us that the restaurant was going to close at 8pm. We all laughed at what we thought was a joke, but, Nope, she was serious.

On New Year’s Eve, the only local bar, positioned in a community that is poised to exploded over the next few years and they are closing early on New Year’s Eve.

This seems to be a New Years Eve Failure

While we laughed at what we considered a business failure here is what else happened:

Girl Dancing with Juke boxRepeatedly one lady in the bar kept playing music on the digital juke box. Each time she swiped her card in the credit card slot she appeared to be twerking with the juke box.

Yeah, yeah, I know people dance in front of juke boxes all the time. This was way different.  She appeared to be twerking on the juke box. We were laughing so hard more than one of us snorted at the table. Later we discovered it was one of the bar owners.

beer-towerWhen ordering another round of beer we thought about ordering a beer tower. The price was not too bad and Courtney would put our favorite beer in it. However, since the bar was closing in less than 1 hour she suggested that we not order a beer tower. We agreed. 10 minutes later the table behind us ordered one and had it delivered. We laughed thinking there was no way 4 people could drink 12 beers in less than 30 minutes. We were wrong.

funny-man-at-barAn older guy walked up to our table and wished us a Happy New Year. While talking he said he had two wives and had owned two expensive homes, neither of which he still had or lived in, yet his ex-wives were very happy in “them thar homes.” He said he now lives in a hotel room.

I wished him better success in 2015. He came back later and in the chat I told him Bum and I were still married after 37 years. He was so excited, cajoled us into standing up and hugging him. Later on we saw him dancing with an older woman up near the jukebox. Our barmaid told us it was his mother.

At around 8:30pm, 30 minutes past closing time I wanted another beer. Our barmaid came over to the table to check on us. I told her I wanted another beer, but I would not order one if she wanted us to leave. She looked like she wanted us to leave, but agreed that because she had work to do in the back room I could have another beer. Megan wanted another margarita too.

bang-bang-shrimpWe joked with the barmaid about a local bar wanting to close at 8pm on New Year’s Eve. When I asked her what she was going to do after work she said she was going to go home and cook Bang Bang Shrimp. I asked if we could come over and she said yes. I’m a smart man. Bum was there and I knew the barmaid only wanted a bigger tip. She left laughing to get my beer. She came back with my beer but forgot Megan’s drink.

We finished up laughing and cutting up with the barmaid by about 8:45pm. We were nearly the last people out of the bar. On the way out of the bar we saw the sign on the doors. Handwritten on yellow ledger paper, “Closing at 8pm New Year’s Eve.”

We didn’t get a chance to close down the year in this local bar, but we closed down the local bar on New Year’s Eve.

Normally if we were told to exit a local bar at 8pm on New Year’s Eve we would consider it a New Years Eve Failure. However, everything else that happened that night made it somewhat successful, ie – funny.

Prayers Lifted for NICU Babies

Abigail-RosaleeTrivette

Last weekend (8/23/2014) I spent time in the NICU of Mission Children’s Hospital when our newest GrandWeWap Twins were born that morning.  My second daughter Rachel and her husband Sid Trivette, the proud parents were there with my wife, Rebecca (aka Bum) and two other daughters (Jessie & Lauren).

Abigail & Rosalee had challenges, yet I prayed and believed that God would guide the good folks at the hospital to safely get the girls thru this period in their young lives.

Abigail and Rosalee were nearly 5lb babies and born at approximately 34 weeks (full term births are between 37 & 42 weeks).

While waiting for the nurse and doctors to take care of our girls, I walked the NICU floor and saw many other children that believed needed our prayers.

That weekend there were 48 babies in this NICU. At least nine sets of twins according to one of the nurses working there.

As I walked around I saw lots of babies being taken care of by dozens of doctors and nurses. There were portable x-ray equipment moving around the floor, lots of equipment being monitored and medical supplies, drugs and fluids being distributed. It was a very busy and emotional place to be.

I saw and looked into the faces of lots of anxious parents. I saw excitement, fear and hope all bundled up in the eyes of these parents. I intentionally shared a smile with each glance, and often received a smile back.

I continued quietly walking the floor until I came back to section C where our girls were. I walked up to Abigail and gave her a “Boppy” finger hug. She hugged me back with her tiny little fingers. I walked over to Rosalee, hugged her finger as well and she returned the hug too.

Today (Monday September 1, 2014) I got an email message from some professional friends at The Green Shoe Studios that reminded me that I live a blessed life.

With, 9 Grandkids, four daughters and their respective partners and my wife of 34 some odd years, my life is filled with excitement, happiness and love. We have our challenges, but all in all I live a very blessed life.

When I read the message from Green Shoe Studios and watched the YouTube video I knew I should share it with you.

Watch this video, listen to the story and then think for a moment, do you too live a blessed life? If you feel the desire, do what you want and can to help Aiden and his family. And, take another moment and lift a prayer for NICU babies.

Thanks for letting me share this with you.

Teddy

How many Lisas do you know

I originally wrote “How Many Mikes do you know.”

Here is what I discovered about the women in my LinkedIn Network.

Out of now 3890 people, here is a list of the women’s names that showed up 10 or more times each.

First Name Count
Lisa 41
Mary 29
Susan 26
Jennifer 22
Karen 21
Julie 20
Linda 19
Robin 19
Donna 18
Ashley 17
Amy 16
Ann 16
Kimberly 16
Lori 16
Stephanie 16
Angela 15
Barbara 14
Deborah 14
Amanda 13
Beth 13
Kim 12
Laura 12
Melissa 12
Tracy 12
Denise 11
Elizabeth 11
Heather 11
Kathryn 11
Pam 11
Sharon 11
Tammy 11
Teresa 11
Brenda 10
Cheryl 10
Debbie 10
Katherine 10
Michelle 10
Rachel 10
Sarah 10

Each of these individuals are unique in their own right, even though, not in name.

I hope you enjoyed this little un-scientific research.

Teddy

Holding the flashlight

Holding the flashlightUpdated story

I recently heard a speaker say this, “I hated holding the flashlight for my Dad.”

The speaker continued on with his perspective of this simple little task. He told how as a little boy his Dad always asked him to hold the flashlight while working on various tasks that needed just a little more light.  Fixing a blown fuse, a broken light fixture, switch or something on the old Plymouth. What he remembers the most was when, (not if) the beam of light drifted from the work area, his Dad would snort which alerted this young man to pull the flashlight back into position. He hated doing this.

I remember these days as well.

As a youngster in the mid 1960s & ’70s I held the flashlight and did many other simple tasks for my Dad.

I carried and fetched tools, pulled weeds, dug holes, filled holes, used a sickle, swept the shop floor, wire brushed the spots Dad welded, stuck welding rods in the holder (I was always scared I would get shocked), siphoned gasoline, sanded the wood & metal projects, washed the cars, washed engine parts in gasoline, hauled fuel oil for the furnace, scrapped paint, held pieces of metal and wood as my Dad cut them, welded nailed or glued them together, washed his truck, scrubbed the tires, planted potatoes (eyes up) and pulled electrical wire through conduit. These are just a few of the little tasks that I did with my Dad as a child and young adult. Often as I did these and many other tedious tasks, my Dad stood watching and coaching me on how to do them right.

Back then I was not always happy doing that stuff.

Today, I appreciate that I got to do them for a couple big reasons:

  1. I learned by watching my Dad. I learned to do electrical work, welding, gardening, plumbing, word working and lots more stuff.  I learned a lot.  Today I can do all of these things myself. Not only has this save me lots of money as I raised my own family, I also enjoy doing these things.
  2. I learned patience, attention to detail and doing things right.  Dad was a stickler to doing it right the first time. No cutting corners or doing anything just to get it done. Do it right, or don’t do it is what I learned from my Dad.

When my girls where home I had them hold the flashlight for me. I snorted at them just a little bit when the beam of light fell away from the work area and they pulled the flashlight back into place.  I hope they learned as much from me as I learned from my Dad.

Who is holding your flashlight and are they learning from you?

Happy Fathers Day Dad. I love you and treasure the days of holding the flashlight.

The long arm of the law got me again

NC-Cop-MiniBack in August 2013 I got nailed by the North Carolina State police, again.

This time the mini was cruising along at 70+ mph in a 55 mph portion of Rt 220 North of Greensboro.

I thought about downshifting, slamming the throttle open further and trying to out run the Dodge Charger the cop had, but Bum was with me. All she had to do was give me the eye, and I downshifted and pulled off the side of the road.

The kind officer had a smile and a pleasant voice as he gave me a $30 fine that came with $183 court cost fee for doing 70 mph in a 55mph zone. Crap!

Knowing that admitting to this would crank up my insurance, I vowed to fight this ticket to the very end.

I was going to court.

I got my driving record (downloaded from NC DMV for $12) and waited a few weeks for my court date.

I got up early, worked out, ate a big breakfast and headed off to Wentworth NC in Rockingham county by 7AM. Bum warned me about speeding, so I left the house early.

I arrived at the Rockingham County Court house and you would have thought I was in downtown Atlanta. Big brick building with pillars and what looked like gold lettering on the front of the building.

I knew better than to take my switch-blade and glock into a court house, so I left them in the car with the cell phone. All I had on me was the $213 for the ticket, my driving record, license and car keys.

When I got to the second floor, there were already 50 people waiting in line. While they escorted us all into the court room another 150 people showed up. They seated us as the clerk and judge setup for traffic court.

I got to sit in front of some guy who sounded like the phone call comic Willie Richardson. His voice and the ridiculous stories he was telling about beating up a cop, getting arrested for hitting his old lady and drinking so much beer that he passed out as he blew a .057 on the breathe-alyzer after wrecking his car, reminded me of Willie’s CDs.

One after another we walked up to the judge with our ticket, license and either our driving record or driving school certificate. The people without their driving record or a driving school certificate were immediately told to go away and come back on October 29 with either their driving record or the driving school certificate. After seeing 15-20 people do this,  I gave up trying to figure out why anyone would show up to court without being prepared.

If the infraction was a driving violation, the judge would say, “I can reduce this to Improper Equipment. Is this what you want?”

With no hesitation each violator said, “Yes ma’am.” The judge would check a box on the ticket and say, “You are free to go. Pay the clerk of the court outside the court room.”

The same thing happened with me, “I can reduce your ticket to improper equipment, is this what you want?”

“Yes, ma’am,” was my response as well.

With my eleven $20 bills in my hand, I went to see the Clerk of the Court. “That will be $263 sir,” she said to me.

My reply must have been a normal response, “I thought the ticket was $213.”

Her reply, somewhat agitated in manner was, “Sir the ticket is for $30, court costs are $183 and the charge for reducing the penalty is $50. Are you paying the $263 in cash now?”

My response, not having all the money and not just a little more miffed at this entire process was less than polite, “Wow, I knew this process was screwed up, but now it’s clear to me that the logic of this entire civil penalty activity is quite ill. Where is the nearest ATM ma’am?”

“At the sheriff’s office around the corner sir.”

“Thank you so very much for all your assistance ma’am. I will return.”

And I did. When I got back from the ATM machine I handed her 14 crisp $20 bills. She banged on the keyboard a little, hopefully saving me from the insurance points, put my $20 bills in her cash drawer and handed me back $17 and a receipt.

She sort of shooed me away with, “have a good day sir.”

And off I went.

$30 speeding penalty

$183 Court Costs

$50 penalty reduction fee

$263 total penalty for driving the mini cooper a smidgen too fast in Rockingham County North Carolina and not trying to outrun a Dodge Charger.

I’d say I’ve learned my lesson, but my record shows this is hard for me to do.

My Offices

My Offices

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that my offices are every coffee shop and a few local pubs in the Triad area of NC. Here is a map of many of them.

Here are 10 reasons I like to use local coffee shops as my office:

  1. Good coffee – Always freshly brewed
  2. Ice cold “soda” – one or two a week is not a bad thing
  3. Friendly and good people serving me
  4. Free refills – With the Starbucks Gold Card, I get free refills while I am in the office
  5. Good food in the pubs – a man has to eat, right?
  6. Free WIFI – Maybe it’s not perfect, but generally it works and it’s free.
  7. I am visible – often I get to say hello to customers, prospects and new connections who come to see me.
  8. When I get a chance to say hello, often I am asked what I’m up to. I get to spin this to, “How can I help you?”
  9. They are a more enjoyable place to have business meetings. It’s way more friendly
  10. My laptop has an ad on it – It get’s seen by dozens of people every day
  11. Fresh pastries every morning
  12. I’ve done the math – $2 per day for a cup of coffee = max of $60 per month. No less expensive rent anywhere.

I know these offices may not be the best for everyone, but they sure do work well for me.

Follow me on FourSquare if you want to know when I’m in the office

Thanks @FinnegansWake, @NattyGreene, @Starbucks, @TheGreenBean & Krankies.

Office Logos TheGreenBean

krankies Coffeestarbucks-logo

natty_greenes

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