Sunday, October 30, 2011

We didn’t get mugged in New Orleans. On October 1 my wife Shauna and I flew to New Orleans for a week long vacation. Before we left many people warned us to be careful and don’t go down any dark alleys alone. We stayed at a timeshare in the French Quarter. We had gotten a letter that said that there was no place to park at our facility so we decided to only rent a car for a couple of days. Since we were in the French Quarter we walked nearly everywhere we went. We loved the street entertainers, the music, art galleries, and especially the food. We didn’t have a bad meal. New Orleans is very much alive with creativity. The highlights of our trip were going to Jackson Square, Café du Monde, the Charles St. Streetcar, the French Market, and we found that we were more Royal Street than Bourbon Street people. When we did rent a car we went to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for lunch which was beautiful. One day when we had the car we also went to the Laura and Oak Alley Plantations. We loved New Orleans!!! We would go back again in a heartbeat. The best part of New Orleans is the people. They are very down to earth and friendly. We felt the Southern Hospitality and best of all we didn’t get mugged in New Orleans.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hitchhiking---Between my junior and senior years of college I decided to take a year off from school and hitchhike around the United States. It was 1972 and I heard that other college students were doing it. I’ve always had the goal of seeing all fifty states and I was tired of school and wanted to do something different. I wanted to have some adventure in my life for a change and to get out and see the world. I was going to San Diego State University at the time so I decided to give it a practice run before quitting. On one beautiful San Diego Spring day I got a ride to downtown San Diego with a friend who was going that way. I told him my plan and he said, “Are you crazy, nobody picks up hitchhikers in downtown San Diego. You’re never going to get a ride back”. I was confident and thought that some young attractive co-ed would pick me up or if not them some middle aged couple because I would remind them of their son. I put out my thumb like I had seen so many others do at the time and I waited. I waited and I waited some more. It was about 3 hours later when I finally got picked up. It was a fellow student. He gave me a ride but asked for gas money to help him pay for getting around town. I only had five dollars so I decided to give him that. He did drop me off 2 miles from the campus. I decided that instead of trying to get another ride I would just walk the rest of the way. I realized that hitchhiking was hot and sweaty work and I was way too impatient for it. It turned out to be the only time I ever hitchhiked. I stayed in school and graduated the next year. I’ve still only seen 34 states nearly forty years later but my life is much better because I hitchhiked one day in San Diego.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THE INNER GAME… I like playing golf except when I’m playing poorly which until lately was most of the time. My eighty five year old clients were beating me. Then I decided to take the game into my own hands and start practicing. I’m like most baby boomers. I think I don’t need to practice. I just want to show up at the course and shoot par. Why should I have to put in long hours of practice? Before I rarely broke 100 and was very frustrated but I was only playing 4-6 times a year. How could I expect to get better? Then I decided to read the “Inner Game of Golf” by Tim Gallwey and do what it said. The best quote in the book is “relaxed concentration is the key to excellence in all things.” I bought some new inexpensive Wilson clubs and started playing once a week. My score has never been above 100 since then and last week I shot 85. Practice does work. It always amazes me that if I put in the time my life can get better. I’m grateful to the “Inner Game of Golf” and my new enjoyment of practice. I no longer fear playing golf with my 85 year clients.
The other day I was at the grocery store and had a small amount of things to pay for with $100 bill. It turns out that the customer just ahead of me also paid with $100 bill. I apologized because the checker had to call the manager over to get more change. She said, “No worries, it’s all good.” I thought it’s not all good. What about Charles Mason? What about the Taliban and Al Quada? What about the National Debt? What about the Chargers losing last week to the Patriots? What about Lucifer/Satan? What about Russia and Communist China? What about the ugly nose ring you have? It’s not ALL GOOD. The next customer was coming up so I said, “have a good one.” I left the store shaking my head and wondering how we can ever solve the world’s problems if we are in such denial...