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.

Thank you Everyone who made this HAPPEN

This Saturday I had the privilege of “marry off” another of my daughters to a great guy.

We started our celebrations on Friday and a whole bunch of great people helped us make it all happen.

This is a thank you to all who helped make the celebrations Great  & Fabulous!

Rachel, the Bride who is one of the infamous Myrtles, had been planning her own wedding for well over 20 years. She arranged all of the support staff and put together a flawless task list and itinerary. The last few months have been non-stop planning, ordering and arranging for a great team of outsourced service providers. (big words huh?) You did a great job Rachel – thanks

Sid, the Groom and now a member of Boppy’s Stable of Stallions, did as a groom should. He managed his grooms men and gladly did everything that Rachel asked him to do with no disagreements. He never showed any signs of stress or fatigue thru out the weekend. Good work Sid.

Rebecca (aka Bum), my beautiful wife (of nearly 35 years) executed said tasks list and  itinerary thru lots of hard work and staff management. We all knew our roles and tasks. She toughed thru the little bit of itinerary & service chaos and made rapid fire plan changing decisions like a pro. I love you babe!

The other 3 Myrtles (daughters) pitched in on all of the tasks with nary a worry or concern. From the planning & setup phase all the way thru locking the door at the hall. I love you girls.

Marc, another member of the Stable of Stallions, orchestrated a fantastic meal, far better than expected or requested. This guy loves to plan, prepare and deliver fabulous food. He does it with a big smile and a still manages to play Dad to the needy nearly 2yr & 3yr olds boys. Thanks for all you did Marc.

Oscar, yet another member of the Stable of Stallions, managed lots of logistics and made sure the right stuff was in the right place at the right time. If anyone needed something he would jump in and help out. Even make a 120 mile round trip late night drive to the airport to pickup a family friend or chase ibuprofen to squelch a headache. Oscar also pitched in on the rehearsal dinner as the rest of of us rehearsed. You are the Man Oscar!

Francie & Alan, my sister & brother (in laws) and their group took care of lots of stuff at both the rehearsal party & wedding reception. They were instrumental in making lots of tedious tasks go bye-bye. They never asked what we wanted them to do, they just jumped in and made it happen. You guys are great – Thanks

Tony, a fantastic family friend joined us early in the day and turned on dimes as we asked him to take care of this, then that, and then back to something else all day long. You’re a good Friend Tony! Thanks

Gary Whitehurst put the jingle in the event. He spun the vinyls and disks that we needed to sing, dance and have a Freakin Great Time! He never missed a beat and smiled the entire night. Thanks Gary – We really appreciate you.

Thanks a bunch for the great images captured by Megan Summers Photography at the Rehearsal party – Lots of great kid pics, laughing and playing all evening. Thanks Megan.

The professional photography team from Carmon Leigh Photography worked non stop at the scripted and impromptu pics during the wedding. These ladies were a blast to work with.

Jessica, our delightful and capable bartender managed the bar effectively with a constant smile. We are so glad we added you to the team Jessica.

Michael Trivette, Big Bro to Sid and the best man, was there at every move to offer any and all help we either needed or asked for. He was a lot of fun to work with as well. He never stopped helping us even beyond the event when we left items behind that needed to be dealt with. I really enjoyed getting to know you Michael. Thanks for all you did.

Brittany Mitchell used her imagination, artistic flair and fabulous baking experiences to create a beautiful & tasty wedding cake. She had her husband, Tommy & her Dad help her deliver and setup the cake. You guys are the best!

The florist arranged beautiful flowers, corsage & butineers and worked hard to help us deal with just a few snafus that occur with these things. Thanks for your help.

Matt Capps, a long time family friend and Associate Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, provided both an enjoyable and loving God filled ceremony. Few ministers will spend the time and effort that Matt did to get to know the Bride & Groom in order to really share a memorable and meaningful ceremony. Thanks Matt, (Laura & Sol).

The bridesmaids, my girls and dear family friends, were beautiful and fully engaged in making this wedding a fantastic and spirited even.

The grooms men are not only loving friends and family, but a lively addition to the celebration. These guys know how to party and have each other’s back thru life. Good People – thanks guys!

My inlaws, Ray & Reva were non stop in their involvement and engagement with everyone.  Thanks folks.

Lesha & Sidney, (Sids Mom & Dad) were a pleasure to get together this weekend and thanks for Sid.

Jackie Gold – thanks for the quick publishing of impromptu event pics – It was a blast to meet you and your family.

Thanks to the many other great folks who attended & participated and got involved in the celebration.

I am sure I am missing some individuals, please forgive me. I will thank you in person soon for all you did to help us with this

Being the Dad of 4 beautiful, loving and spirited women is a blessing. You can’t be an average kind of guy and marry one of my girls.

I now have three powerful, dynamic, fantastic son-in-laws. My Stable of Stallions continues to grow. I’m a blessed and proud Dad.

I end this post with a confirmation for myself.

I am blessed beyond what any Dad would expect.

Thank you God.

Million $$ Ticket

In the early 1980’s the State Lottery program started up in Maryland.

I worked at a chemical plant in Dickerson Maryland back then.  I’m not sure how it happened, but a group of about 20 people got together and decided each week to buy 2 tickets per person in the group.

Some how or another because I was the token “computer guy”, I was responsible for collecting the money, buying the tickets, printing a list of ticket numbers and holding onto the tickets.

If we hit any winning numbers I was also responsible for cashing in the tickets and distributing the money.

It all went well for many months until the Big Money week.

The pot was up to $20 millions, big money for back then. We had 20+ people in the pool. Everyone was excited about the possibility of hitting it big. During the week everyone pondered and played around with the numbers. 20 people in the pool, $1 Million each. Taxes back then were about 28% which meant we could take home about $720,000 each. Again, this was real big money for all of us.

I had collected all of the money, purchased the tickets, typed up the list of numbers and pinned the list up on the break room bulletin board. Some of the guys took copies of the list home with them.

I remember the drawings back then were done on Wednesdays. I always had a copy of the list of numbers with me so that when I heard the numbers I could write the winning numbers down on the list.

I turned the TV on just in time to hear the numbers – “2,7,12,23,34,65”

I wrote the numbers down on the paper and then started scanning the 40 sets of numbers for a match.

Halfway down the list – MATCH – Exact Match!! This was unbelievable. The pot had actually grown to $21.5 Million which meant each of us would likely take home about $774,000 each after taxes. Of course this would be spread out over 20 years, but most of us didn’t make that much per year working at Neutron. This was great money for all of us.

Before calling anyone I had to confirm the tickets, just in case I made a typo.

I got my wife to help me read off each ticket.  Each week we read thru each ticket, just in case we had another typo that could turn a losing ticket into a winning ticket.

We got halfway thru the list when we found what we thought was the winning ticket. My wife read the numbers out loud, “2,7,12,23,34,56”

“Wait, don’t you mean 65,” I asked.

“No, it’s 56,” she said again.

“NO!!” I transposed the numbers.

Besides not winning the Big Money, this was not a big deal except for one thing. I had published a list that had the wrong number on it and 19 of my best friends thought we had hit it Big!

Just to set the stage a little more. This was back in the day before cell phones, text messaging, email or Social Media.

It did not take long for the phone to ring. Billy Owens, one of my best friends had a copy of the list of numbers and saw that we “WON” big, at least according to the transposed number.

My wife answered the phone and immediately told Billy that the list was wrong.

Here is when my best friend turned into someone different.

He hung the phone up and drove 15 miles to my house. He wanted to see the tickets and he wanted to see them NOW!

I handed him all of the tickets with the good ticket on top. I pointed at the typo and explained the mistake.

“Where is the winning ticket?” he yelled at me.

“This is it BIlly. But I typed the number wrong and we did not hit the Big Money”, I replied

I could not convince him I was telling the truth. It took lots of convincing from my wife for him to finally believe us.

The next day at work I had to do some more convincing, but eventually everyone believed me.

We cashed in the $1100 winning ticket and split it $55 to each player.

I started making photocopies of each ticket and posting the copy on the bulletin board. No more typos.

That was back in 1980’s.  I can’t imagine the threats and doubts that would have happened if the pot was $460 Million like the MegaBucks games of today (2012). I mean $640 Million – dang typos.


Don’t Worry

When ever you feel that the day to day challenges have got you beat, remember, when all is said and done you only have 2 things to really worry about

If you have “good” health or “bad” health. If you have “good” health, you really have nothing to worry about.

If you have “bad” health, then you only have 2 things to worry about.

If you’re going to live or if you’re going to die. If you’re going to live, you really have nothing to worry about.

If you’re going to die, well, then you really only have 2 things to worry about.

If you’re going to heaven, or if you’re going to hell. If you’re going to heaven, you really have nothing to worry about.

But if you’re going to hell, well, then you’ll be spending so much time catching up with old friends, that you won’t have anything to worry about.

Remember, you only have 2 things to really worry about.

My Blogging Milestone

Today I hit a really cool Blogging Milestone.

This blog hit over 10,000 views

And I did it with 202 individual stories across less than 8 years of writing.

My first post was “Customer Service – What is this actually” was written on 11/14/2004

My 200th story was special to me. It was a 2012 Valentines gift to my titled “I Love You

My activity was sporadic in the beginning, but eventually picked up:

5 stories in 2004 – I really did not know what I was going to do when I got started
12 stories in 2005 – Can I use career change as an excuse for not paying attention to my writing? Nope, I shouldn’t
6 stories in 2006 – This was my first year as an IT sales Person – I lost focus of what I love doing
2 stories in 2007 – Yeah, pretty pathetic – I agree – go ahead, yell at me
2 stories in 2008 – What a freakin non-blogging fool
46 stories in 2009 – Getting my groove on again – Finally, I got the itch back
39 stories in 2010 – Why did I slack off? (Hey I did write 15 posts in Traveling with Bum in December 2010
75 stories in 2011 – Back to a Great pace now and this does not include the 100 stories I posted in NCWiseman, the last 15 stories that ended Traveling with Bum and first 11 chapters of Is It Worth it Does It Matter
15 stories so far in 2012 (nearly 2 months in) – Keep this pace and I will hit an all time of 90 stories, again not including NCWiseman and Is It Worth it Does It Matter

It has been fun writing, sharing, researching and posting stories about me as well as sharing other stories that I reposted when I felt the calling to do so.

SO – what do I want to say




THANK YOU ALL who just stopped by

I’m blessed.


What rewards have you received

I have the privilege of attending a life celebration of a man who has accumulated great rewards during his journey thru life. It is these rewards that helped him to pass away peacefully and provided some comfort for his family.

His life journey has not been captured by ESPN, Travel Channel or Readers Digest.  The life he lived was not awe inspiring, death defying or miraculous. He did not collect a bunch of medals, awards, trophies or plaques from local dignitaries.

The rewards this man has accumulated are numerous and worth more than money, precious stones or gold.

The rewards this man has accumulated are real, yet he is able to take them with him to his grave.

The rewards this gentleman has accumulate thru his life can not be boxed up and put into storage.

The rewards this man has collected do not lay around the house needing regular dusting or shifting to make room for the next great reward.

The rewards this man accumulated are not listed on anyone’s bucket list. And, unlike a wrestlers trophy belt, these rewards can not be taken away by another.

You see, he passed away knowing that the rewards he accumulated are stored in the hearts of all those he touched through out his life.

His wife, his brother, his daughters and son-in-laws.  His grand children, his nieces and nephews, his neighbors and many others.

He knew these rewards existed.  Not that he could touch them or see their shiny chrome and jewels, but because he felt them from the support, help, compassion and care that many shared with him.

My last conversation with this man clearly told me he knew he had been bestowed these rewards.

As we sat in his home, laughing and talking into the night, he indirectly and repeatedly asked one question. To me, I could tell that he was not asking a question, but instead sharing with us that he knew of the rewards he had accumulated.

“I have a Great Family.” Each time he made this statement, in the form of a question. Yet, I could see in his eyes that he was making a statement, not asking a question.  He knew that his family was the main source of  his greatest reward in life.

He received this reward from his wife thru all that she did for him.

He received this reward from his daughters from all they did for him over the years and up unto the last moments of his life.

His son-in-laws and grandchildren bestowed this reward on him thru the tireless help, care and happiness they gave him freely.

He received this reward from the dog who stayed by his side thru his final days.

He received this reward from his brother in part thru the numerous compassionate conversations only brothers can share.

He was proud to receive this reward from his many friends and neighbors.

He knew that these rewards were real and for him to keep, because they were bestowed upon him with no strings attached.

Despite this man taking these rewards with him, they are still visible in the smiles, the tears, the laughter, stories and memories that he leaves behind with his family.

He has been bestowed these rewards because he cared, he gave, and he loved. He did not seek these rewards.

He received these rewards from many who participated in the life of the man who only sought to be, the best husband, father, brother, neighbor and friend a person can be.

For this, he received in return Love, the greatest of rewards.

Love is not a reward you seek, but one that is bestowed upon you when you give it freely.

This reward provides peace to those it is shared with when someone you love passes on.

Love, and you will receive the greatest of rewards.

Every action has an equal or greater reaction

Can you picture this?

1974 or 1975
Math, history or english class @ Poolesville high school in rural Poolesville, MD
Here is roughly what the classroom chairs/desks looked like back then:

The desks were lined up about 10 deep and at least 4, maybe 5 rows wide. There were at least 35 students in our English class back then.

To my right sat one of my classmate friends, Tammy. To my left a good friend named Clark. I proved what kind of friendship we had during class one day.

Being a good student, (really), I always showed up for class moments before everyone else. Even today people tease me saying I still do this, 35+ yrs later, so I can do some serious networking. Yeah, right, no one believes this. Any way, I got there early and started chatting it up with some of the other students.

Whole talking someone found a tack on the floor. For those of you unsure what I am referring to, it looked like this:

You may not be able to see that the pointy metal part of this thumb tack is about 1/4″ long. Maybe a tad longer.

Somebody said, “Man, that would freakin hurt if you sat on it.” The rest of laughed and agreed.

Then again, someone said, “Hey, Clarks not here yet, put it on his chair.” once again we all laughed and agreed.

For many reasons I was the one to put it on his chair. A) I was standing right beside his desk, B) I thought it would be as funny, if not funnier than some of the others, C) Yeah, I did not fully understand the science lesson that we (I) was about to experience.

So, I strategically (or with no real thought), placed the tack, point up, dead center on Clark’s chair. We all snickered, then scurried like the mischievous kids we were, back to our seats to await class, I mean, Clark to show up.

Now, there was more intelligence in the room than I lead you to believe. To my right Tammy whispered to me repeatedly, “That’s not smart, get the tack, get the tack NOW.” But for some reason I didn’t, or at least pretended not to hear her.

OK, here is where the science lesson really started.

Clark came into the room moments before class started and strutted up to his desk with a big smile on his face. You see, Clark was mostly always late for class, and he was beaming with happiness because he beat the Bell. I was actually happy for him myself and if I recall, I may have reached out to Hi-five him.

Now picture what happened in the next 3.25 seconds.

Clark slapped his books down on the desktop, slid into position to sit down, dropped onto the chair and KaBoom!

The immediate reaction was a result of all of Clark’s strength (farm boy) picking himself up off of the chair (I mean tack), raising the entire desk & chair off the floor, nearly above everyone’s head, as he exhaled a scream of vulgarities that totally freaked out everyone in the room.

Over the years I have thought long and hard at this next question, How did Clark know I did it? To this day, I still wonder.

As soon as his feet landed back on the floor, Clark lunged at me like a wild man, plowing me, my desk and books down on the floor up against the other row of desks, occupied by fellow classmates. He started waling on me like a crazy man. In a defensive action, I commenced waling back at him. It was total chaos until someone yelled, “here comes the teacher!”

A few classmates helped to stop us and to separate us. They then helped us to set the desks and chairs back up. This likely only took another 20 or 30 seconds, tops. The whole time I kept wondering when Clark would attack me again. I sort of expected it because after hearing him scream with pain, I felt like I still deserved more waling.

The class bell rang as Clark was collecting his books and standing next to his chair wondering if he could sit down.

I got back in my chair and straightened up my clothes and wiped most of the sweat off my face.

As the teacher walked into the classroom, she noticed Clark still standing next to his desk. “Late again Mr. B., nothing seems to change with you, does it?”

I heard Clark whimper as he sat down on his injured butt. He looked over at me with piercing eyes as if to say, “your turn next.”. I knew that was more than just a likelihood. Paybacks were hell back then.

I can’t recall talking about that science experiment ever again. I’m sure I got some payback later on.

I most definitely learned, quickly and clearly, that “every action has an equal, and sometimes greater reaction.”

Clark and I remained friends throughout high school and continued our mischeiveous activities even thru graduation.