Holding the flashlight

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 the 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 of big reasons:

  1. I learned by watching my Dad. I learned to do electrical work, welding, gardening, plumbing, woodworking, and lots more stuff.  I learned a lot.  Today I can do all of these things myself. Not only has this saved 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 were 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.

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 too, “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 gets 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.




Words to noodle on

Thanks to my buddy Rick for sharing this with me. Now, I’ll share it with you.

The nicest thing about the future is . . .
that it always starts tomorrow.

Money will buy a fine dog . . .
but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

If you don’t have a sense of humor . . .
you probably don’t have any sense at all.

Seat belts are not as confining . . .
as wheelchairs.

A good time to keep your mouth shut is . . .
when you’re in deep water.

How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark . .
to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

Business conventions are important . . .
because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

Why is it that at class reunions . . .
you feel younger than everyone else looks?

Scratch a cat (or dog) . . .
and you will have a permanent job.

No one has more driving ambition than the teenage boy (or girl) . . .
who wants to buy a car.

There are no new sins . . .
the old ones just get more publicity.

There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 a.m. . .
like, it could be the right number.

No one ever says “It’s only a game” . . .
when their team is winning.

I’ve reached the age where . . .
‘happy hour’ is a nap.

Be careful about reading the fine print . . .
there’s no way you’re going to like it.

The trouble with bucket seats is that . . .
not everybody has the same size bucket.

Do you realize that, in about 40 years . . .
we’ll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!)

Money can’t buy happiness . . .
but somehow it’s more comfortable to cry in a Cadillac than in a Yugo.

After 60, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint . . .
you’re probably dead.

Life isn’t tied with a bow . . .
but it’s still a gift.

I hope you enjoyed these statements.

The Whole Secret

The Whole Secret

A friend of mine wrote this in her journal and shared it with us this week.

I liked it so much I asked her for permission to share it with you.

Do you know THE Whole Secret for being happy in life?

Here is how she answered this question:

“I love it when people ask me to tell them my secret for BEING HAPPY because I don’t really have a secret other than:

  1. I don’t think the Universe is out to get me
  2. I don’t listen very long to people who want to convince me that I should be unhappy
  3. I pay attention to things that make me unhappy and I stop doing them as soon as possible

That’s pretty much THE WHOLE SECRET.


Dear Daughters – It may be time to leave North Carolina

 North Carolina Education System Failures


Hello girls. It’s Dad.

I apologize for what I’ve got your family into.

When we move to North Carolina in late 1996, we were excited about the possibilities.

The cost of living was reasonable, the lifestyle was calm and relaxed, the school systems appeared to be in a mode of improvement. All of this while businesses were growing and changing as Tobacco, Furniture and Textiles were on the way out. Everything seemed positive to us.

However, I failed to notice that one of the most important aspects of living here is quickly going to pot.

I am afraid of the North Carolina Education System Failures

The North Carolina Public Schools are failing your children, my grandchildren.

I am embarrassed to tell people that I live in Davie County NC. The bickering, drama, personal attacks and narrow-minded opinions regarding building a new Davie County High School is pathetic. I quietly weep when I hear parents in this county say, “we can’t have two football teams” or “It’s not fair to build a new high school in the northern part of the county where all the ‘rich’ people moved” or “I don’t have any kids in school, I’m not agreeing to a new school.”

I am embarrassed at how Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools administration treats their Pre-K programs. I am appalled at the way WSFCS treats these teachers, assistants and the development programs of these students. Forcing these Pre-K and Kindergarten students to learn in ways that they are not developmentally ready to learn, (i.e. not being allowed to play, explore, experiment naturally) is unacceptable to me. Trying to bring in math & reading programs into Pre-K classes is setting up our youngsters for educational failure.

There are many North Carolina Education System Failures I see setup to negatively affect your children, my grandkids, including:

  • rapidly increasing and even unaffordable insurance benefits for our educators
  • requiring our educators to pay the school system when you use an earned personal day.
  • no raises in six years and the expectation that there will be no raises in 2014. As I understand it NC is now the 48 lowest teacher pay state in the nation.
  • increasing class size with no limits while reducing the number of assistants
  • the elimination of the teaching fellows, a great program for attracting new highly trained teachers.
  • the continuation of the three years probation period with no licensure renewal benefits and other limits that career educators do not have.
  • Merit pay programs tied to unproven and disparate measurements

Is anyone else worried about the North Carolina Education System Failure?

Regularly I hear our government civil servants tell us they are working hard to build our economy by encouraging businesses to move their operations to North Carolina. I can’t help but believe this economic development work is like a house of cards. How do they entice any great businesses to join us in North Carolina while at the same time ignoring the pressing needs of the school systems?

The most recent failure is when our Governor Pat McCrory gave his staff pay raises in a time when every other civil servant is asked to do more for less. I applaud Aldona Wos, of Health and Human Services of declining the pay raise and pledging to work for $1.

Girls all of these issues and the lack of belief that anyone has a good plan to correct what I refer to as a failing education system worries me. I am afraid of what will happen to your children, my grandchildren.

I have started doing research to find a state that has a better vision than North Carolina. Yes, other states are facing the same budget constraints, however, I’m sure there are smarter people in our Nation who have found a way to keep education as one of the top priorities in their state.

I’d rather not move or have you move out of North Carolina, there are lots of great reasons for living here. However, the future of your children and my grandchildren is my priority.


Clemmons NC Black Bear – HIT & RUN

The Clemmons NC black bear – Hit & Run Death

The Clemmons NC Black bear got hit by a car this morning.

This bear had wandered into town, likely searching for good food and/or meeting someone new.

However, as he traveled around the city he decided to attempt crossing I-40. Unfortunately, he did not navigate the speeding cars.

Here is a video of the crime scene related to the Clemmons NC Black bear

Here is a picture of the local police at the scene of the hit & run



This story of the Clemmons NC Black Bear got picked up by WFMY News2, WXII 12, Journal NowFox WGHP, WBTV, News&Observer, DailyAdvance and ABCNew11

Are you with the Right Partner?


During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?”

The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered, “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind replied the author.

Here’s the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept off my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships break down.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found.

People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.

Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.

I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is, therefore, a “DECISION”. Not just a feeling.

Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO! ♥

Author Unknown

Thank you to my daughter for sharing this article with me

Cowboy Bob

A cowboy named Bob was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses, and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Bob looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peaceful herd gazing nearby and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bob says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

“You’re a Congressman for the U.S. Government”, says Bob.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.”

“Now give me back my dog.”


Never underestimate an Old Guy

A banker saw his old friend Tom, an eighty-year old rancher, in town.

Tom had lost his wife a year or so before and rumor had it that he was marrying a ‘mail order’ bride.

Being a good friend, the banker asked Tom if the rumor was true.

Tom assured him that it was. The banker then asked Tom the age of his new bride to be.

Tom proudly said, ‘She’ll be twenty-one in November.’

Now the banker, being the wise man that he was, could see that the sexual appetite of a young woman could not be satisfied by an eighty-year-old man.
Wanting his old friend’s remaining years to be happy the banker tactfully suggested that Tom should consider getting a hired hand to help him out on the ranch, knowing nature would take its own course.

Tom thought this was a good idea and said he would look for one that afternoon.

About four months later, the banker ran into Tom in town again.

‘How’s the new wife?’, asked the banker.

Tom proudly said, ‘Good – she’s pregnant.’

The banker, happy that his sage advice had worked out, continued, ‘And how’s the hired hand?’

Without hesitating, Tom said, ‘She’s pregnant too.’

Don’t ever underestimate us old guys.