I can clearly see my Dad

Today my Dad was laid to rest 82 years, to the day, from when he was born.

He did what God wanted him to do in his life and now he is done.

Because of the pandemic, I am not able to see my Dad, one last time.


I can clearly see my Dad as he swings a bat and hits a softball farther than any Dad had ever hit a ball. Over and over again as the sun sets over Sugarloaf Mountain.

I can clearly see my Dad tirelessly working his side business, after a long day at his full-time electrician’s job, to create the money needed to raise his family.

I can clearly see my Dad as he helped me learn how to build things, fix things, and even tear things apart & put them back together again.

I can clearly see my Dad when I worked alongside him learning about electricity, construction, welding, metalworking, automotive stuff, and plumbing.

I can clearly see my Dad as he said to me, “Don’t worry about stuff you can’t change.” (I relearned this later in life as well.)

I can clearly see my Dad as he drove an old topless Willys Jeep through the blinding snow to get a 55-gallon barrel of fuel oil for our furnace, never once complaining about doing it.

I can clearly see my Dad looking me in the eye after I wrecked his truck, and without raising his voice or getting mad he said, “Fix it.” (I did)

I can clearly see my Dad as he did what he could do to help others. I never heard him complain about anything he had to do or turn down helping those he could help.

I can clearly see my Dad as I held the flashlight for him while he worked on something that needed to be fixed. Yes, I too remember him saying, “Over here boy, I’m not working over there,” as I let the light drift away.

I can clearly see my Dad with what he needed to live a good life. No fancy new cars or trucks, no whiz-bang tools or expensive man toys. I never heard my Dad say, “I wish I had…” I learned the value of living a simple & blessed life from my Dad. It’s made a huge difference in my life as I strive to also live a simple and blessed life.

I can clearly see my Dad pulling a calf out of the frozen pool and back into the stable to recuperate. To me, he was a hero saving our calf. (BTW – some of the best hamburgers ever).

I can clearly see my Dad numerous times over the years, in the hospital, sometimes facing death, often in pain, maybe showing a little fear, but never complaining.

I can clearly see my Dad leaving the house every morning before the sun rose to drive to work, never complaining about the drive or the long hours on the construction sites he worked.

I can clearly see my Dad doing what God wanted him to do; raising and caring for his family, even helping his children once they were grown and needed his help. I never heard him complain as he did what he could.

I won’t be able to see my Dad as he is being laid to rest. But I can clearly see my Dad from all the memories I have and I know I’ll be able to continue seeing him as I continue my life.

Rest in Peace Dad.

Love, Teddy Lee Burriss Jr.

The job still needs to be done

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Be the somebody who does something.


The author is unknown to me

State of Davie event

I had the pleasure of attending the State of Davie this morning. Probably close to 200 people showed up at 7:30AM to meet over coffee and breakfast. The event was hosted at WinMock at Kinderton, an absolute jewel of Davie County.

This mornings event was sponsored by CenturyLink, Frank L. Blum Construction Company & Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The Triad Business Journal Doug Copeland led the event and then handed off to Justin Catanoso Director of Journalism Wake Forest University who moderated for us.

The Panelist were insightful and open with their discussion points

Good conversations about the DC Economic Development Commission is doing to help draw new businesses and strengthen existing businesses in Davie County

A lot of conversation about the arrival of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center West, due to have phase I completed by mid 2013

Mary Rittling did a great job sharing the story of dedication and commitment from Davidson County Community College in Davie County.

Terry Bralley gave us the numbers related to the decline of Manufacturing jobs (2003 -35% / 2013 -16%), Textile jobs (2003 -16% vs. 2013 -2% and Furniture jobs (2003 -12% vs. 2013 -<1%).

Terry gave more numbers for us to be aware of

  • 60% of the residents leave the county every day to work in another county
  • 41,000 people live in Davie County
  • 104% unemployment and Terry feels it is much higher than this

Terry went on to tell the story of a town in Texas where a large business was considering setting up a new operation. Because of the positive words of a quick mart employee, speaking broken english, but proudly about the town, Apple decided to setup up an operation there (Austin Tx I believe). His point was to remind us that we never know who we are talking with. Choose your words and statements carefully. You could be influencing a decision that can affect your future and the future of your community. Good story for us all to have heard.

John McConnell spoke of the challenges (opportunities) related to medical costs skyrocketing, technology creating new solutions, innovation driving value and the need for more educational solutions to meet the demands of higher skilled workers. John applauded DCCC for the work they are doing developing more people that are needed to support the high demands for more medical care & professionals.

John continued with his dedication and commitment to Davie County.  John told Mary Rittling that he dreams of the day when he is a chemistry professor at a Community College. That got John a hug.

Mary Rittling did well to poke at Justin Catanos’ joke that he thought it was a typo that Davidson County Community College was on the panel at the State of Davie. Justin knew what he was saying, that joke gave Mary the floor to share the dedication and proud work that DCCC is doing in our county.  (me – we all are grateful)

Mary told us that the Davidson County Community College campus in Mocksville is Davie County’s “University”. Since 2004 it has served >13,000 students and right now it is home to 1500 students. DCCC is working hard to replicate all of the educational programs that are delivered from their main campus here in Davie County as well.

The panel ended with a quick Q&A session and the panelist listing the challenges (obstacles) that Davie has to work to overcome :

  • Lack of Capital $
  • Recruiting Faculty and staff to teach
  • Creating Sustainable solutions
  • Staying attuned to what the community, county, citizens want/need
  • Staying aware of the rapid changes in our world, community, culture, society

Why did I write this story?

I woke up this morning in Advance NC where I have lived for 16 years. I grabbed my business cards that say, “Burriss Consulting Inc.” on them and headed off to hear about the county that I live in and now have my own business in.  I need to be more involved and attuned as to what is going on in the county that I live and have a business in.  Count on it Davie – I woke up this morning.

High Five!

How often do you high-five someone for the great thing they did?

How often does someone else high-five you for the great thing you did?

It’s a great way to acknowledge success, excitement and even a really good joke.

More often than not, it’s mandatory to accept a high-five request from a friend.

Here is a story that is somewhat unusual

Yesterday I was riding in the car with my wife. We were joking, laughing and having a good time.

I cracked a joke about something my wife said and the laughter from both of us increased.

My wife used her wit to spin the words I said and turned the joke around on me.

What she said was far funnier than what I said, despite the fact that the joke was not on me.

My wife raised her hand and barked out, “High Five!”

Foolish me, in a knee-jerk response, I accepted her high-five of her witty joke against me.

This made the joke that much more funnier.

Never again, never again will I high-five my wife when she cracks a joke about me.


Boating Chaos # 4

This is the last of 4 boating incidents (as of now)

Boating Incident # 4 – The last story I have occurred in an even larger boat on an even larger body of water.

My brother-in-law, father-in-law and I decided one year to charter an ocean fishing boat.

We started at 5:00am heading out to sea. It took about 3 or 4 hours for the problems to develop, and when they did, I was initially the only one to notice it.

After a few hours of waves, diesel fumes, biscuits, coffee, waves, diesel fumes, waves, diesel fumes, waves and more diesel fumes, my body decided that everything I had eaten over the past few hours must go.

Now, I handled this pretty well, with the greatest pain being mental. I was not really that embarrassed, until the first mate started trying to make me feel better. He said that he had seen this time & time again, mostly with small children and women.

This excursion was touted as a manly thing for us to do.  And getting sea sick was not really very manly. Or at least I thought so.

Fortunately I manned up and eventually got over the nausea. The rest of the trip was pretty nice.

Unfortunately, my brother-in-law decided that our wives and friends needed to know all about this trip, repeatedly, year after year.

I learned two things from this trip.

1 – I will get sea sick if I go deep sea fishing

2 – Tell everyone this up front so that they can’t harass me later.

Boating Chaos # 3

This is the 3rd of 4 Boating incidents (as of now)

Boating Incident # 3 – The third time I participated in chaos in a boat was out on the Chesapeake Bay. Another group of friends and I decided that we would go fishing in the lower section of the bay. We left the marina in the wee early hours of the morning and had a good time fishing, joking and partaking of food and drink out on the bay.

At around 3:00pm the engine broke down. Something to do with a fuel pump or something.

We had a radio and after numerous attempts to find a service boat we were able to contact a marina service boat. He said he would be happy to come fix our boat after the thunderstorm that was heading our way.

Now this was unbelievable. We sat thru 60mph winds, rain, hail, thunder and lightning for well over two hours.

To make matters way worse, we ran out of beer and junk food before the storms started up.

Because of the winds we could not anchor the boat. We just spun and spun and spun around on the water.

SCARED – Not me. I was way to busy praying and pondering writing my wife my final love letter.

Well, as you can see we made it thru the storm. The service boat showed up at around 7:00pm, we got back to the marina at midnight and then back home before 3:00AM the next day.

Our wives were waiting up for us, less because of the fear of danger, and more because they were sure we were totally up to no good.

They developed some level of concern for our potential demise only after we convinced them of our story.

I learned two things from this experience.

1 – Know the cell phone number of the service boats

2 – Bring more beer


Boating Chaos # 2

This is the 2nd of 4 boating stories (as of now)

Boating Incident # 2-

A group of family and friends took a small ski boat out on the Potomac River. We all decided that we needed to learn how to water ski on the river.

After a few hours of feeble (& painful) attempts at water skiing and no one really able to celebrate any good skiing at all, the boat ran out of gas.

Now normally this would not be so bad. However we drifting down a fairly swift river.

With no other boats around, the quiet of the afternoon soon was pierced by two loud noises.

First the thundering of water cascading down an area called The Great Falls.

The second noise was all of us screaming, now totally freaked out and fearing death, or at least a lot of pain if we were to go over the falls.

We eventually regained our calm. We found the emergency paddles in the belly of the vessel and began frantically paddling towards the shore. The combination of prayer and rapid paddling got us to the shore only minutes before we reached the falls.

Even though we were lucky to not go over the falls, the pain was yet to come.

We tied the boat up on some brush and started climbing the river bank. The bank was covered in weeds that were wet with a nasty sap.  Because we were all in our swim trunks, the sap got on our legs and began burning.  Add the burning to the pain from sharp thorns of other brush and we were getting beat up pretty bad. None of us realized what we were into until we were half way up the bank.

Two of us continued up the bank, the other two went back to the boat whimpering all the way.

Regardless of which direction we went, all of us were in serious pain from the burning sap.

This was before cell phones. We walked nearly a mile back to the marina.

We commandeered a small motor boat (full of fuel and a good motor) and took fuel back to the disabled ski boat.

I learned two things from this incident

1 – Make sure the boat is full of fuel and monitor the fuel level

2 – Stay with the boat and beer and send others up the bank to get the fuel.

Boating Chaos # 1

This is story number 1 of 4 (as of now)

Boating Incident #1 – The first time I had any problems boating was the afternoon that my brother-in-law and I decided to go crabbing in a row boat with a motor.

We were vacationing outside of Ocean City MD near a small bay named Assawoman Bay. Please don’t ask me for the history of this bay. I have no idea how the name was chosen.

Link and I failed to achieve our goal of catching any crabs for dinner that night. Therefore we decided to head our little boat towards a marina next to the inlet. We were sure that a good cold beer would help us forget that we caught nothing.

Now, Link and I are educated and experienced men. We are however, not very knowledgeable regarding the times for low tide at Assawomen Bay, which empties into the great Atlantic Ocean with thunderous waves. As we motored towards the marina where our ice cold beers were sure to be, we realized that our little motorboat was zipping along at a pace we had not yet experienced. I mean, it was flying.

We were being sucked out to sea by low tide. We put our heads together and figured out that we needed to turn the boat around. As soon as we did this we realized that, even though we were at full throttle, we were still heading out to sea.

The tide was faster than the little Putt-Putt. We never thought about doom or death. We did however, strategize and decided to angle the boat in such a way that as the tide sucked us out toward the inlet, backwards, we were still heading towards the marina.

Our strategy worked and we celebrated our win over the tide & Ocean with a nice cold Coke. Unfortunately there was no beer at the marina.

There are at least two things we learned from this experience

1 – Never take a little motor boat out in a bay connected to the ocean

2 – Stay away from marinas that do not have beer.



Social Media Privacy – NOT

I have no concern for or expectation of Social Media privacy.


Because Social Media sites are intended to be Social and IMHO intended to share publicly consumable content.

Being social includes engaging and sharing with others.

When you engage with others hopefully you would never stand naked in public, spouting foul words and doing nasty, disgusting things. Similarly, when you engage with others in Social Media, you should never post anything that you would not say in public.

Also, you would never stand on a street corner and hand out a list of your business and  private, confidential information. Therefore, don’t post any confidential or private information on any social media site.

Therefore, take the concept and expectation of privacy, security or confidentiality out of every conversation regarding Social Media.

We need to consider Social Media as public content sites and that we are all contributors. Our role is to provide relevant, interesting and useful information for others to consume.

Additionally, yes, I know that there are many security and privacy features built into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, etc. These features provide some level of general security that can prohibit users from hacking our accounts and in some cases seeing our content. However beyond getting my account hacked, I do not want or need to trust the other security features.

I want my content to be accessible by anyone who desires to come looking for it.

Because I treat these systems as public sites and because I want to publicly contribute and collaborate with others. There is no need for anyone to ask for my Facebook password. All of my content is publicly accessible. Every post, picture, comment, tweet, discussion, connection, friend and fan are public content. Pure & simple to me.

Just to be clear, I expect my bank, financial institutions, credit cards, email messages, voice mail messages, private conversations and even thoughts to be private and confidential. If these systems get compromised in any way I will not be happy.

In conclusion I suggest you accept that there is no privacy using Social Media, just as there is no privacy standing on a street corner.

It’s more enjoyable, rewarding, engaging and beneficial if you set yourself free to share openly with no expectations of privacy.