Now hear this!

November 2017

What would it be like not to fear eating?  Being able to choose restaurant food you like without counting the calories because you already know how to eat?   Or to not shop for larger sized clothes and belts?   Or to no longer hate having your picture taken?   What would you like to accomplish, if health issues from overeating were not the overriding “But”  ?    Travel?  Wear a bathing suit at the beach this summer?    Go to a restaurant without a complex plan of what you can and cannot eat, or how much you need to exercise to compensate for eating?

Or if you are in optimum health and weight, but have to always screen what is vegan, or kosher, or follow other diet-restrictive choices.   From illness, hospitalization, and very restrictive diet, I have lost weight.  But the weight is creeping back.  I need to re-train my attitude about food.

May 2018

That’s what fascinated me.     Over the coming days, weeks and months, I’m going to live and breathe a new relationship with food.  There’s a new self-paced learning program that sounds great and has a lot of university- and medical- science research to back it up.    I invite you to check it out.    The program is the BeachBody 2B Mindset.   Check it out here.

Unlocking success



Ten Keys to work and life success:

  1.  Measure your success not in terms of monetary gain, power, influence, or education: there are always people who have more than you;  the opposite holds true as well, in that there are always people with less that are more content, peaceful, and healthier with less.
  2. Always give your best effort in your work, whether in employment or in your craft.  There are plenty of others who stop at “mediocre” and complain about “fairness” when others work smarter, harder, and seek to do more.  Make “Invaluable” is an adjective others would use to describe you as an employee.
  3. Treasure an inquiring mind.  If one stops learning, lifegrows dull and colorless.
  4. Be considerate of others.  Your impact may generate positive changes for individuals and communities.
  5. Social media is often argumentative or belittling.  Seek understanding, not to be understood.  When encountering confrontational people who will not accept differing opinions from their own, turn away, tune out, and go play with your family, friends or dogs.
  6.  If you borrow,  treat others’ belongings, tools or work with respect or courtesy.  If you lend, do so prudently and with understanding that it may not return.
  7. If an employer, treat your employees with courtesy, integrity, and compensate them fairly.   If an employee, treat your employer respectfully.
  8. In social settings or with co-workers, do not participate in gossip, slander, or bullying.  The one who offends today may be the subject of other’s offense tomorrow.
  9. In personal relationships, treat one another with kindness, respect and mutual affection.  Be quick to apologize, and treat the other person as you would want to be treated.
  10. Be open to accepting a spiritual component for your life.  Balancing life and work successfully is as much, or even more, a spiritual attuning as human effort.



getting back in the game

Finishing races is important, but racing is more important. Dale Earnhardt

In the sports world,  professional athletes sometimes get injured or sick.  For some, surgery for torn ligaments, broken bones or other issues requires an extended absence.  In the MLB, baseball players can be put on the DL (Disabled List).  In the NFL, football players have injury categories including the Injured Reserve (IR) list.   For the guy or gal whose career does not have millions of adoring fans, bright lights and cameras or sponsor endorsements,  she can be hospitalized at the worst time where work or family are concerned.  For compulsive, “Type A” people – and I am a recovering compulsive worker –  time away from the office is being away from my team and from the battle. I certainly felt that way when I had to retire from the Navy eight years ago.   It took years to lose that compulsion to be involved  and to simply enjoy being “retired”.

the home stretch

Many know in the game of baseball,  between the “top” and “bottom” of the seventh inning, is a time for the fans to “stretch”.  And then the game resumes.  For a month of recovery from abdominal surgery,  my work life feels it has had that “stretch”.   While I did not plan to be away so long, after a few weeks at home,  the light housework, cooking, and a few other chores seem preferable to the whole regular job thing.

What am I thinking!

Of course, I have been working almost forty years,  so this is as close to “retirement” as I’ve gotten.  My youngest adult son still questions my work ethic, “are you STILL off work? When are you going back?”, he says.   I remind myself he’s only held a real job for two years.  Forty more to go (unless he eventually learns to save a dollar or two).   As a  Baby Boomer I know taking time off only leaves a bigger headache to return to.  What is time off worth to you?

To get a week at home, a few might trade work for a hospital bed.  Fewer still might trade,  for two weeks away,  surgery, staples, hospital food and daily changing bandages.   Maybe for three weeks, one or two might volunteer for a hospital stay, including an operation; a persistent cough that racked your body with pain each time;  use or not use painkillers which alleviate pain but slow down healing; bedrest,  antibiotics, itching  and requiring help to pack medicated strips into the surgical incisions twice daily to properly heal.

sporting legs, backs, sight, and wind

The last leg.  On the back nine. The finish line is in sight.  A second wind has kicked in.  Athletes want to be in the race.  With apologies to Dale Earnhardt, the sooner restarted the sooner I reach my finish line.

After four weeks,   going back to the “job” is preferable.  A discussion I had with a blogger concluded that suffering is needed for great art, drama, and writing.  Is my blogging getting BORING?  I am not suffering!  Where do I get inspired?  Suffering at work.  I am not used to working like this!

With my return to work,  there’s going to be an adjustment. Others are going to suffer.  Dogs won’t have my company during the day.  Barbecuing and making dinner for my wife coming from work are going to be a weekend-only thing.  Coming off the DL is an adjustment.  Work is going to expect that I will return to my suffering program and knock a homer out of the park.  Perhaps my dogs will be inspired to blog.


Humble is not a pie sold at Costco

On the way home from lunch with friends today,  we stopped at COSTCO to pick up a few things.  While I enjoy our Sunday routine,  it is often at odds with how I spend the first part of my day.    As you may know, if you have followed either of my blogs for any length of time,  my wife and I are active members of our church.  For the last decade at least, one  or both of us serve as ushers for our worship service.   For the last five years,  I have been leading the ushers every Sunday for four to six months every year.  And that has helped me to overlook in others the shortcomings we all share.  In biblical parlance – sin.   Greed. Pride. Lust.  Et cetera.  On display at Costco.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
― Rick WarrenThe Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

Not that I am immune to “human weakness” by any means.   It’s why I go to church, why I pray and why I depend on the divine to help me when I’m weak.    See if my observations sound like anything you have seen:

  1. The bored clerk helping at checkout who seems genuinely irritated that a customer wants a box to carry out their purchases.
  2. The seven customers waiting in the parking lot behind the man waiting for a particular spot though there are two people pulling out a hundred feet away.
  3. The line of customers congregating around one of the sample stations – sausage, I think – blocking all but the most determined customers from going down the aisle.
  4. A wife berating a husband because he wants to buy some pickles  while she has a month-supply of chocolate in the cart.
  5. Several customers who found a deal – and are buying several bottles of Margarita (premixed) each – though the checkout clerk chuckled to me that Cinco de Mayo is still a month or more off.
  6. The woman who blatantly, if smugly sly, gets in front of me – two inches behind the man in line in front of her – and then motions her gal-pal to pull their nearly empty cart in front of us – three bottles of margarita, two of wine and cheese puffs or whatnot.

These are not representative of all, but a sample of people I’ve encountered.   For myself,  I have to hustle past the stadium-sized televisions positioned at the front of the store,  the random trinkets, and past the alcohol, to the steak and roasts.   I love to barbecue, and could easily spend my week with the smoker or barbecue going daily.

I would love to stuff my face with beef jerky, baked goods or those Salted Caramel chocolates, but that’s what I am declaring war on these days. On my new lifestyle- cutting out carbohydrates – I’m 22 pounds less than I weighed at the beginning of January.  And I intend to be twenty-five pounds lighter by the end of the summer.

Please God, help me love people.  Give me humility.  Help me say “no” to the gallon jug of BBQ Sauce to go with the steaks.   And help me with my own weaknesses!

Early to rise

With all due respect to Benjamin Franklin,  I have to say rising early for the past forty years has not been due to my body-clock eager to start the day.  It was a habit that I developed before age 18 as I had responsibilities ( I worked before school at a ranch which required me to start there at 5 AM).    I am healthier now due to good eating habits,  wealthier due to a skill that is specialized and in demand -but more likely that I am much less given to the wild living of youth – and possibly wiser because I read a lot  – starting with scripture.  Work stimulates a lot of brain activity because something I build and test at work rarely just functions as designed. And I need to determine why – or correct it.  Participating in discussions with friends, peers, educators, and fellow bloggers across the world stimulates curiosity.

To say that this writer’s mind is a cauldron of seething ideas is not entirely accurate at 5 AM on a Saturday.  By sitting on an idea till it hatches, more fully formed, requires patience, time to actually write, a critical editing process, a lot of coffee,  and   Voila!

And then the dogs realize I am up.  Ideas sometimes come during a dog walk, but more often I am focused on them not peeing on mailboxes, a neighbor’s roses or my not stumbling.


Usain Bolt and Harry Belafonte grew up in my parish – tour bus driver & guide

On a zip-line and rafting tour in Jamaica, the limes, bananas, coconuts, and sugar cane compete with mangroves, towering Hindu bamboo and brightly colored flowering plants for my attention. While zooming through trees up to 40 mph (there are big cushions at the downhill station if the brake and guide fail to stop me) fed my adrenaline-junkie, the afternoon spent on the river was a great way to take in the people and history of Jamaica. The rafting guide explained how various plants have health and medicinal properties – and though Americans sterotypically associated ‘ganja’ with Jamaica, nothing Reginald listed in the average diet included weed.

2017-11-08 15.54.13

Patois is the native Jamaican dialect, and after a brief intro, we were all “ai’-ree” (doing well) and affirming questions with “ya, man”. Jamaicans have a deep pride in their country, and while it is very evident that the poorest Americans are richer than most of the population, I think even the “CJs” -Crazy Jamaicans, (self-named) locals who walk in front of moving trucks and buses – would find much of my complaining young countrymen more than foolish. Though this is my first trip in the Caribbean as a civilian, and a first ever to Jamaica, I can see why people return again and again. For me, the food, grog and Cuban cigars are pleasant but bouncing up and down a rocky and muddy road with a group of laughing fellow travelers and guides on the way to rafting is a lasting adventure.

“Put da lime in de coconut, stir it all up” -Jamaican health tip for lowering blood pressure

working party

My church sponsored a Women’s workshop this weekend at the former Naval Training Center in San Diego.  It’s now the Liberty Station community.  Asked to help set up, I found myself reminiscing about my recruit and technical training that occurred here 40 years ago.

As the former Senior Chief, I expected to carry a few boxes, direct a couple younger volunteers, and drink a little coffee.  Instead found volunteerism meant an ushering, security and cleanup crewmember for the minister.

20171021_120054But military training never leaves you behind.  Planning, process improvement, kicking “lovingly” a few peers (civilians) in the behind who spent the day “lollygagging” , was all in a day’s work.