Saturday, February 27, 2010


It's funny how excited we get about birthdays. We have no control over them, we didn't do anything to earn them, and they keep on happening regardless of whether we are here or not. And yet, when it is a birthday, we celebrate as if we had just won an Olympic Gold! Forget about the other 364 days of the year, you get one day to "have it your way!" However, to get around all of this, the trick is to treat every day as a birthday.

So, celebrate my birthday, I will! My wonderful wife, Lynn, is taking me to a fun little Mexican restaurant (where two can eat a very full meal, including free taco chips and bottomless Diet Pepsis) for less than twenty bucks! I know! It's an hour drive, so we don't go very often.

And then, if the weather cooperates, we are going to see Jim Belushi and his LEGENDS OF ROCK & BLUES, with (Jim, of course) Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Barry Goudreau (former member of the band Boston), Michael Carabello (Santana), David Hull (The Joe Perry Project), and Johnny A. Backing this blues rock superband will be The James Montgomery Blues Band with The Uptown Horns. Opener: Kan-Tu.

Now this is going to be a fun evening, birthday or not! Happy birthday to me!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I just survived 36 hours of on-again, off-again (mostly off-again) power outage during this current snowstorm in southern Vermont. My Internet has been out since Tuesday night.

These outages remind me of how much I am dependent on electricity and the Internet (and TV!). And especially the Olympics.

While I have been watching the marquee events (speed skating, downhill, ice skating, and snowboarding), I have become addicted to curling. I know! It's so odd. Like watching corn grow (did you know you can hear corn grow? I grew up in Illinois - it's true!)

Curling is getting a lot of exposure during this Olympics (it heps to be in the same time zone and have multiple NBC channels carrying the events). The US teams have struggled and will not win medals. But I know I'll be following them now and will look for them to return in 2014.

There are so many unique winter Olympics events. Nordic Combined, Biathlon, short track speed skating, curling.

I am huge Olympics fan and supporter. I will miss the Olympics when it comes to a close Sunday night. But the good news is that the Formula 1 season starts March 12 (Friday practice) in Bahrain!

Okay, time to do a little work before the next curling match at 5. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the power stays on. It's flickering . . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giving is the getting

Today, too many people are focused on what they are going to get - how much will I make, how much does it cost, when is my first day off, what are my benefits, when will you get it to me, and on and on.

They expect others to give first. They give only if they have to, and only in return for something.

The real gifts we get in life are the result of giving. Helping someone who has fallen is a two-way gift, reaping immediate benefits for each party.

A smile often brings a smile in return. However, I must say that people (in general) today are so reserved, so afraid of expressing themselves, so guarded that I often don't get smiles in return.

As I take walks along our rural roads, I always wave to passersby. Most return the wave, but I often wonder how many are waving "only" because I waved first. Would they wave to me if I didn't?

That doesn't really matter. The gift I receive is the good feeling of being a good person. A friendly person offering something first without expectation or need of something in return.

Being nice to people is what we want others to do. And to others, we are the other person. We can't control what others give to us, and to be honest, it doesn't matter. Our giving to others is a gift we give to ourselves.

Give and get give.