Thursday, January 19, 2017

QUOTES FROM SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

I like Winston Churchill.  Well, he's dead...but if he were alive I know that I'd like Sir Winston.  It's that British directness, the cigar, the strong sense of purpose and, of course, the motivational quotes. Here are my favorites:

1.  Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.

2.  Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

3.  Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.

4.  Never, never, never give up.

5.  We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

6.  If you are going through hell, keep going.

7.  Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

I wonder if he was a golfer?  :-)




Monday, February 16, 2015

SOME BEACH! THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!


SOME BEACH!  THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!

It all started while I was walking along humming Blake Shelton's song, Some Beach back in December 2014.  You know how it is when a song gets stuck in your head..."rollin down the interstate, runnin thirty minutes late, singing Margaritaville and mindin my own.."  If you've never heard the song, it's about a likeable guy who has a bad day...traffic, road rage, crowded parking, overzealous dentist, etc...and each time that he wants to exclaim "son-of-a-b*tch," he tempers it with "some beach" instead.  It really is quite funny and catchy; so ditch your country music bias and go listen to the song...but I digress.

So, I've got this golf buddy - Mike Ruppert - and while he has calmed down a lot over the years, he was once renown for: a) hitting a bad shot, b) swearing loudly and c) launching his club in some random direction.  And I really mean random.  One hole he'd wing it out there like a Boeing 737 headed north.  On another, it would look like a helicopter approaching a Kandahar airstrip to the east.  And of course, my personal favorite, the straight-down, "Tomahawked wedge" (i.e. club buried in the sand so deep you can't even see the club head.)  Us golf buddies all enjoyed (and still enjoy) playing with Ruru; his "volcanic eruptions" are just some of the many entertaining events that one experiences in 5-hours on the links.   

That's when...BAM!...it hit me...no, not one of Ruru's clubs...although he has come close.  No, BAM!, I should develop a video to Some Beach starring Ruru, but instead of traffic and parking lot and dentist trouble...he has golf trouble.  The storyline would be him hitting golf balls into sand traps and - nature taking its course - reacting accordingly.  But how to do that?

To make a 2-month story short(er)...I had to collect photos, write lyrics, get the Kareoke version of the song, build Powerpoint slides, in-port photos, consistently size the slides...ooops then some of the photos don't look right...get more photos, get different photos, hey wait!...this needs to be a movie...so I'll video tape the Powerpoint presentation while narrating over each slide...yeah that's it...that way I can ensure the timing of the song with the advancement of the slides...but turns out the quality of the photos isn't very good that way...damn!...OK, different camera...nope...maybe I can video the computer screen...nope...too many refresh lines...distracting...OK, I'll just have to build in the exact timing transitions for each slide in Powerpoint...but wait, how am I gonna get the audio embedded...oh, Powerpoint will let you do that...but I still need an audio file that exactly (well...nearly exactly) matches the slides...so, using 2 laptops...2 Ipads... and the best "Sound Girl" in Carlsbad - my wife - Mary Ellen, we build a sound file that matches up with the advancement of the slides...tie the 2 together and then convert the ppt to mp4 and...wala...it's done!  Enjoy! http://youtu.be/tQFjqPqMq_Y
video



Sunday, February 8, 2015

DEAR, SHOULD I BUY AN EQUUS?

Went to the Farmer's Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Thursday with my brother-in-law "Village." We always have a good time watching the pros murder the ball like nine-alarm chili and then putt it like melted butter.  What talent!  We also paid a visit to the pretty girl (Jen) showing off the high-end, Hyundai automobiles.  I could tell she was a good sport, so since I had just woofed down a mustard and onions hotdog ($6.00...what a deal!) and we were talking at close range, I asked if she had a mint.  She laughed and said she only had 1 Altoid left, but I could have it.  She then pulled out this wintergreen Altoid that looks amazingly like a "little blue pill" and offered it to me with a chuckle.  I laughed and said, "why of course I'll take it and will report back later if it has any effect!"  I thought...this is the making of a good caper for tomorrow...but I'll need help.

The next day, I attended again with MEO, Karen, Village and B-boy.  Needless to say, a great time was had by all!  We started the day with a few Bloody Marys at the Grey Goose tent and - properly oiled up - set about to surprise "Hyundai Jen."  Taking MEO under one arm and Karen under the other (both stunning blondes I must say), I walked up to Jen and said: "hey, remember that blue pill you gave me yesterday?  ....well it worked!  ...almost too good ...now I have 2 women!"  Needless to say, Jen got a good laugh out of that, seeing even more "caper potential" in the situation.  She told us that at the next Hyundai display, several hundred yards away, there was a "rookie Hyundai gal" named Kim working her first show ever.  Wouldn't it be great if we spoofed Kim?  But what to do....hmmm?

We schemed as we walked and decided on a plan.  MEO, Karen and myself approached the $70,000 Equus and I immediately started fawning over its beauty, elegance and sophistication, exclaiming, "I love this car!"  Naturally "Hyundai Kim" comes over and starts to put the sell on.  She was very well trained..."the Equus has front, side, and ceiling air bags...it has a little massager in the steering wheel...it will allow you to listen to Pavarotti on helium over 24 speakers..."  She puts me in the driver seat continuing to explain all the details justifying the $70k.  Karen jumps in the passenger seat and - playing her role as girlfriend - is supporting and echoing all of my comments..."this is such a GREAT car...you look so good in this car...you must have this car..."  MEO, playing the role of cost-conscious wife (not a stretch by any means), is standing outside the driver side trying to quell the enthusiasm..."you already have a nice car...it isn't that old...$70,000 is a lot of money."  So naturally "Hyundai Kim" starts working harder..."the Equus is a luxury town-car in Korea...the Equus is sprinkled with fairy-dust...the Equus will extend you life, among other things..."  I seize the moment, stepping out of the car, I motion Hyundai Kim over to the side.  MEO and Karen are in a mildly, heated debate over my right shoulder.  I tell Hyundai Kim..."ahhh, I should tell you, the woman who wants the car is my girlfriend, the one who is against it is my wife...ahhh, and my wife doesn't know about my girlfriend."   The look on Kim's face was priceless...she can only stammer, "oh."  I then raise the stakes, "which one do you like better?"  She looks at me and says, "I like the car." And then going all-in says, "why do you have to choose anyway? ...women have lots of shoes."  OMG!  I couldn't hold back my laughter.  I turned around and brought the girls over for a caper-revealing, group laugh.  We had to tell Hyundai Kim that her cohort Jen had put us up to the spoof and she was a good sport through it all.  Of course we made a full report to Jen who could only state (off the record)..."why that dirty girl."

Next week I'll probably go to a Hyundai dealership...to look at the Equus of course!

Monday, October 6, 2014

MY ELBOW HURTS, BUT...


...I'm still going to Bandon Dunes!

In just a couple of days, I depart sunny San Diego and head up to Eugene, Oregon.  Meet up with my brother-in-law "Village," rent a car and drive to Bandon, OR.  Our pal - Michael Richard Martin - is driving up from San Diego and will meet us there.  Mike (aka "Walt") Ruppert was going to join us, but he didn't think his stamina was up to the task.

Stamina?  ...what stinkin stamina?  Well you see, we're going to play 4 or 5 rounds up there at Bandon Dunes (BD).  BD is a very popular stop for "buddies golf trips."  Some have called it "the Myrtle Beach of the Pacific"...except this Myrtle Beach looks more like Scotland.

BD is supposed to deliver all the charm of links golf, including the weather.  Can you say "rain gear?"  And...I should mention...no riding carts.  What?  Yes, let me state that again for the "reading impaired" - no riding carts.  Golfers must walk.  You may take a pull (or push) cart and you may hire a caddy, but you ain't riding!

The walking is not going to bother me.  I've been training for months to "hike away, hike away, hike away all."  But, I've got a case of both golfer's and tennis elbow (and I don't even play tennis...) so that may limit my participation...but I will use ice, heat, a TENS machine and some faith healer "bones and stones" just to extend my play.  We shall see...

I am really looking forward to the experience.  Travel a thousand miles, pay a thousand dollars only to trudge through the cold, misty air in pursuit of an occasional par.  Heck there's even a pretty good chance we'll get totally deuched by a whole lotta cold rain! 

Golfers...you gotta love 'em (us)!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

80% OF SUCCESS IS JUST SHOWING UP!

I love the phrase in the Subject line.  We have so many things to do and so little time to do it right?  Well, maybe.  I keep reminding myself that I tend to run out of "do" (i.e. motivation) long before I run out of time.   I cite my experience with Golf Wisdom From Under The Hat as an example.

The fact is, I didn't know I could write a book until I wrote one. 

I didn't know I could get it published, so I formed a company and published it myself.

I didn't know what all that "front matter" was that you see in the first few pages of a book (ISBN, copyright, Library of Congress Control Number, etc...), so I just kept researching until I figured out how to register and procure all of that stuff.

I didn't know how big the book would be.  I was sure it wouldn't be 8.5 x 11 inches, but that's about it.  So I took some books off of my shelf and reasoned...yeah, 5.5 x 8.5 inches would be about right
and then set about trying to format the book for that size so that it would look OK in print.  You wouldn't believe how many "paper size standards" there are; some in inches, some in centimeters...I thought I was back in 6th grade...let's see 2.5 centimeters per inch...

I didn't know how to get a book up on Amazon Kindle, so fortunately, it rained one weekend and I spent the entire time researching and formatting and formatting again until I met the Kindle upload requirements.  There really is a lot to know about Microsoft Word - just sayin.

I didn't know how to get it up on other platforms too (Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Sony, etc...) so I researched and found out about Smashwords.  Rather than having to go to each one of those websites and learn their unique formatting requirements (yes...they're all different), I was able to go to www.smashwords.com, and after several attempts, I successfully uploaded to their requirements and now they can (will?) distribute to the other book stores/distributors.

I will save you the "how I got it printed saga," but suffice to say, it's another research project.  Things like binding, paper size, weight, color, shipping costs, upload requirements, etc...all come into play.  Comparisons...debate...more comparisons...more debate...more information...more debates...and on it goes until....damn it Reed!...make a decision.  If it's the right one - great!  If it's the wrong one - you still learn something.  Win-win, I'd say.

So in closing this opening blog, I say it remains true that "80% of success is just showing up."  "Showing up" in the 21st century mostly means getting motivated, getting on a computer, getting on the Internet and doing all the research you need to do to get your goal(s) accomplished.  You do have the time!  You just need more "do."

I welcome your comments!  :-)