Monday, December 31, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 338....May Ol Acquaintenances Be Forgot...

HappyUP!!! - the end of the year
Why it happened - it's the end of the year....calenders do that
Why it makes me happy - it just puts you into a different frame of mind. It's a day off tomorrow.

HappyUP!!! - cancelled conference call
Why it happened - my boss figured everyone was on light schedule
Why it makes me happy - I really only wanted to put in the half day that I already did.

HappyUP!!! - coffee with a friend
Why it happened - he pressed me
Why it makes me happy - I got to sit around and talk with another guy for a couple of hours that I have never spent that much time with. We were swapping business ideas as well as life issues. Good time in conversation.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 337

HappyUP!!! - Nutton and Oranges delivery
Why it happened - I slipped out in the early morning
Why it makes me happy - I know the couple who got their NUTTON!!!wear are going to enjoy my oranges are pretty darn good.

HappyUP!!! - Qi Gong
Why it happened - I was watching public television
Why it makes me happy - this guy was doing some weird moves on TV. I decided to follow along. At the end of just 7 non-strenuous minutes, I couldn't believe how I felt. Stretching is in my plans for 2008. Qi Gong is similar to Tai Chi. Unlike Yoga, you don't have to do the moves "right." Lee Holden is the guy if you want to do a google on him.

HappyUP!!! - happy dreams
Why it happened - who knows
Why it makes me happy - doesn't it make you happy when you have some excellent dreams. Last night's were just that!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 336

HappyUP!!! - more Christmas
Why it happened - my sis-in-law has a big family
Why it makes me happy - while all the hubbub wouldn't be my daily cup of tea, it's cool to be around the large gathering once a year. The gift exchange is always a hoot.

HappyUP!!! - gift exchange trick
Why it happened - someone was on the ball
Why it makes me happy - one guy brings lottery scratchers for the gift exchange. Follow along here as you have to get the setup. The worst thing that could happen to that guy who brought those would be a huge winner in the pile of tickets. While the recipient was sc
scratching away, someone had a fake winning
lottery scratcher for 10, ooo bucks (don't ask me how they got it....someone said you can get them at the dollar store). They slipped that to the person doing the scratching. The person scratching acted like a big winner. You should have seen the commotion!

HappyUP!!! - good pictures....not taken by me
Why it happened - it's a family gathering
Why it makes me happy - they'll be a good one of my brother and two nephews all laid out on the couch doing what we do best....nothing!

In the meantime, here's pictures of people taking pictures.

Friday, December 28, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 335

HappyUP!!! - physical...part one
Why it happened - I made it happen and made an appointment yesterday
Why it makes me happy - no issues on the, on to the bloodwork.

HappyUP!!! - breakfast
Why it happened - it happens every couple of weeks
Why it makes me happy - I always like to spend time with this guy. He is a direct report...and a friend.

HappyUP!!! - various e-mail dialogues
Why it happened - all my e-mail friends must have had some time off
Why it makes me happy - some of the people live close by....we'll be planning to do some things
together in 2008. I think 2008 is going to be the Year of the Full Calender for me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 334

HappyUP!!! - a helpful "Help Desk" person
Why it happened - I had an issue with my corporate sanctioned blackberry
Why it made me happy - I could whine about the three different places I had to call and the number of times I was transferred to get this issue fixed. The important thing was that when I got to the person, I got to THEE person. She wasn't superfast. She had to look things up BUT she understood and appeared to actually care about my problem beyond the "customer service scripting" schpiel. My Blackberry is UP!

HappyUP!!! - a helpful banker
Why it happened - I needed to do a transfer that I should have been able to do on-line but couldn't
Why it made me happy - when we first sat down, it seemed like I may have messed up and could have accomplished what I needed to do on line. I was ready to go home and give it another try. She wouldn't let me. She said, "let me get out of my internal screen and do it as you would at home." It was at that time that we found out I hadn't made a mistake. I really couldn't do this on line. She picked up the phone and got it done with the people right away. Big timesaver.

HappyUP!!! - talking with a friend
Why it happened - my friend called me up
Why it made me happy - I hadn't heard from this person in several months. I figured our friendship wasn't that big of a deal to the other person. Now, we are probably going to go skiing with ME getting free ski lessons. Gotta love that.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 333

HappyUP!!! - unexpected golf
Why it happened - my brother called
Why it makes me happy - I had the day off. Nothing planned. It was a bit chilly but it was still a good time.....even though my game stunk!

HappyUP!!! - steak
Why it happened - it needed to be eaten
Why it makes me happy - a BBQ'd steak on a cold night.....tenderized all day with garlic and worchester. That is some good eating.

HappyUP!!! - 2 sandies
Why it happened - I hit it in the sand trap
Why it makes me happy - despite the struggle today, I still showed a bit of skill on a couple of occasions.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 332

HappyUP!!! - the hidden money is a hit again
Why it happened - I do it somehow every Xmas
Why it makes me happy - my niece and nephews aren't kids anymore. They know what is coming from
They just don't know how it's coming. This year, the do-re-me was somewhat carefully stitched into an extra hem that was at the bottom of their NUTTONS!!! T-shirts. Only one of the three rocket scientists figured it out. The other two had some coaching. I think all were in disbelief that I went to the trouble of hiding the cash in such fashion.....hence, the fun and tradition has continued another year.

HappyUP!!! - losing money
Why it happened - we played poker
Why it makes me happy - we must have played poker for 8 hours......between a lot of eating....oh my, a LOT of eating. I am going to have some working out to do between now and Sunday. Anyway, it cost me a lot of dough but it went to a good cause....the rest of the we had a TON of laughs.

HappyUP!!! - GPS
Why it happened - I got a present
Why it makes me happy - none of my vehicles has GPS. Now, with my portable Garmin, they all can! Sweeeet!

Monday, December 24, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 331

NOTE: just 41 days until the HappyUP!!! project roles through it's first year.

- a spec play
Why it happened - I decided to try to take advantage of a little trick Wall Streeters play
Why it makes me happy - I am learning. The best way for me to learn is by doing. I like learning. It also doesn't hurt the learning process when it might make you a little dough. In this case, I chose one stock over the other 4 that were in the running for a year end play. All 5 of the stocks were up today. The one I was chose went up the most....a little over 4% in one day! I'll be out of this position by Thursday....and then see if "the streeters" do what I think they will do.

HappyUP!!! - another Christmas idea
Why it happened - I saw an ad
Why it makes me happy - my bro and sis in law or going to like this one.....I think.

HappyUP!!! - cleaning out some files
Why it happened - slow couple of hours at work
Why it makes me happy - I thought I had already performed this function at one time not too long ago. There was so much more for me to toss. It is very liberating to get rid of papers that were "oh, so important," yet never looked at.

You Aren't in Style.......are you?

Isn't this about the happiest stack - you have ever seen?

Check out those colors - and the message. It's better than Seinfeld. Heck, that show was about nothin.

These shirts are all about - Nuttons

It's absolutely impossible - for you to even think about hitting the major fashion cities of the world this year without this little accessory.

Long and short sleeved - you can be wearing Nutton
year round. I know I'll be!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 330 - Christmas Shopping

Hey.....what is going on here? - a future HappyUP!!! ?

Never mind - on with the HappyUP!!!s

HappyUP!!! - the Sunday morning before Xmas
Why it happened - this is when it happens
Why it makes me happy - if you get to the stores on the Sunday morning, they open early and you are on your own. 1) People don't like getting up early on Sunday 2) The people that do HAVE to go to church on this one Sunday every year.

HappyUP!!! - finding some cool gifts
Why it happened - I just kept thinking...thinking.... thinking
Why it makes me happy - I know the people that get what I give are going to really appreciate them. No giving just to give this Christmas

HappyUP!!! - playful texts and e-mails with friends
Why it happened - it's a lazy Sunday?
Why it makes me happy - I just crack myself up.....I really do.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 329

HappyUP!!! - call with someone I hadn't talked to in a few months
Why it happened - I picked up the phone
Why it made me happy - hadn't talked to the person since Second Saturday back in October. It was good to reconnect and chat about the holidays. Maybe we'll play some cribbage.

HappyUP!!! - breakfast
Why it happened - it happens every Saturday
Why it made me happy - today, the laughs were at a VERY HIGH level....gut busting. Laughs...laughs...laughs

HappyUP - wrapping idea
Why it happened - the "panic wave" swept over me and washed in some creativity
Why it makes me happy - I have a tradition of "packaging" my gifts for my niece and nephews. You can see last year's creation here. I was out of creative gas until it hit me today. It took about an hour and a half of time but I got it done and Christmas is basically done! Well, I still have some shopping to do...hey, I'm a guy, after all.

Coming up with wrapping idea
New book on investing
Talk with Sis
Power Steering Fluid

Yeah.......who said?

I lifted this off my friend, Wes', blog - shhhhhhh don't tell him that I am using it

....on second thought - you can tell him. I don't think he would mind.

You know there are many ways to give - that don't involve a trip to the mall. Some jackass once said, "money is such a cold gift." Don't think that some people would appreciate you "shopping" at the bank this holiday season.

Friday, December 21, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 328

HappyUP!!! - Nutton shirts
Why it happened - my guy came through
Why it makes me happy - just in time for Christmas!

HappyUP!!! - my ceramic bowl
Why it happened - it's Christmas
Why it makes me happy - one of my assistants does ceramics. I love it when she gives me things she has made

HappyUP!!! - my ornament
Why it happened - it's Christmas
Why it makes me happy - it was a custom ornament.....just perfect for me!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 327

HappyUP!!! - an Initial Public Offering (IPO)
Why it happened - I was watching Squawk Box this morning
Why it makes me money - little guys like me aren't supposed to get in on these. I got in and out before I left for work. I couldn't stay home and watch it so I had to get out on this day of volatility. Yes, I sold way too soon but I made some dough before I left for work.

HappyUP!!! - the help desk came to me

HappyUP!!! - tamales

HappyUP!!! - a big present
Why it happened - it's XMAS
Why it made me happy - I came in and a nicely wrapped big box was on my chair. I didn't open it but my admin did a great wrap job

HappyUP!!! - chat with my friend
Why it happened - I called him
Why it made me happy - he's feeling better. He was sick on Sunday. I always feel better after talking with my best friend

HappyUP!!! - breakfast

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 326

HappyUP!!! - SOLD
Why it happened - I stepped away from the table
Why it makes me happy - I had a good chunk of change riding on one stock. I had held it all year....then...BOOM.
It went up. I sold 25% to lock in a little profit. It went up more. I sold 50% of my stake. It went up more. Today, I sold the last 25%. At the end of the day, it provided a 37% return this year. Is it the money that makes me happy? Nope. It was winning at a game that I am beginning to understand a bit more. This move should bring my self managed portfolio in at a 20% return for the a tough year in the market.

HappyUP!!! - joking with staff
Why it happened - not a lot going on as we head to the holiday
Why it makes me happy - I did a lot of cleaning up and tending to loose ends.....and made my staff laugh a lot. It was a happy environment in a tough industry (mortgage) today.

HappyUP!!! - nephew comes home
Why it happened - two weeks in the hospital was enough
Why it makes me happy - I got his text message, "I'm out!" and I had a tremendous feeling awash over me of joy. I love this guy. Now, it's time to help him around his house.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 325

HappyUP!!! - Toastmaster's Breakfast
Why it happened - it's XMAS
Why it makes me happy - fellowship with my club friends

HappyUP!!! - tamales
Why it happened - it's XMAS
Why it makes me happy - homemade tamales...c''s food and it was a present.

HappyUP!!! - talking with a client
Why it happened - we hadn't talked for awhile
Why it makes me happy - I really like this guy. He may or may not be a personal client in the future.
That doesn't matter. I just like the guy so I rang him up. We're going to lunch!

Monday, December 17, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 324

HappyUP!!! - getting my nephew dinner
Why it happened - he asked me
Why it makes me happy - I didn't call him before I went to the hospital. I asked him if I could go get him something. He said he really wanted an Ultimate Cheeseburger from food heaven, Jack In The Box. Yeah, I had to go back to the parking garage, drive down the street, wait in a long car line, drive back, repark, and hike back to his room.....and I enjoyed every minute of it.

HappyUP!!! - xmas present
Why it happened - I had a thoughtful manager
Why it makes me happy - I got a book on WW2. Now, I am no historian....I don't even read about this. This person knew, however, about my dad and that is why he bought it. I'll read this little tome.

HappyUP!!! - a bunch of stuff done
Why it happened - I worked it into my day
Why it makes me happy - I stopped by the post office and the dry cleaner before work. I got by the tailor on my way back from a meeting. I made a breakfast reservation. I got some superfood ordered. PLUS...I had a productive day at work. Productivity is a HappyUP!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 323

HappyUP!!! - a long walk
Why it happened - I decided to hit the bricks
Why it makes me happy - I must have covered 5 miles. Other than a little blister, no issues. The trip required three upper layers, a beanie, and some gloves. The cool air was awesome.

HappyUP!!! - good eating
Why it happened - time to be careful
Why it makes me happy - I am only a couple of pounds from bringing the weight in at the end of the year where I started. It wasn't what I started out wanting but it is what it is. I'm gaining (or, should I say, losing) on it.

HappyUP!!! - hearing from several friends
Why it happened - I picked up the phone and the e-mail
Why it makes me happy - I hadn't expected the contact. It's always great to connect with some pals.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 322

HappyUP!!! - wine sniffing
Why it happened - I got an invitation
Why it makes me happy - I'm not a drinker but my friend called me up to go wine tasting. I love the smell and the romance around wine. We had a great time talking while one of us sniffed....and the other drank.

HappyUP!!! - talking with my best friend
Why it happened - he called me
Why it makes me happy - I hadn't heard from him in awhile. When he and I do some catching up, there is usually belly laughs to be had.....even on the phone. No exception today

HappyUP!!! - tidying up the house
Why it happened - I laid down the law
Why it makes me happy - I am very susceptible to clutter. I leave stuff laying around. Then, I have challenges trying to decide what to do with it. Now, if I was married, there would be someone in the house who would be deciding where the stuff goes.......and then I wouldn't be able to find my stuff......and then, I would end up being unmarried again! Anyway, I got some things in order so that was pretty cool. A couple of more pushes like that and I will be decorating.

Friday, December 14, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 321

A lot to HappyUP!!! about today....I'll try to limit it to three narratives. Some days it's hard to figure out the top three.

HappyUP!!! - a note and a visit to my nephew
Why it happened - he hadn't woken up yet this morning when I tried to visit
Why it made me happy - I noticed it and, without waking him and adding hours to his day, I slipped out and left him a newspaper and a nice note. Then, I went back later tonight......and found out he may be getting out of the hospital on Tuesday! Yes, it's still a long time from now but at least it is in the forecast.

HappyUP!!! - a conversation with a recruit
Why it happened - I made the call
Why it made me happy - this recruit is becoming a friend as well as a recruit. If she comes to work, great. If not, that is cool too.

HappyUP!!! - an interview with a recruit

HappyUP!!! - a branch lunch

HappyUP!!! - a meeting with my boss and a recruit
Why it happened - my boss was in town for the lunch I squeezed in a meeting between him and a potential high level recruit.
Why it made me happy - I got some insight into what I need to do.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 320

HappyUP!!! - a stock up $3 a share
Why it happened - it's the flippin stock market...who knows
Why it makes me happy - this is part of my personal portfolio that I handle. I hold 5-8 stocks at any one time. This particular stock was one of the two that I was heavily loaded in. I've got a sell order in for a piece of the holding tomorrow. This is called "taking a lil schnitzel" off the table. Sure, I have sold some entire positions before...but I have never had a big pick come in like this.

HappyUP!!! - a HappyUP!!! cake
Why it happened - three of my branches honored me
Why it makes me happy - the branches met after hours for their holiday event at a local restaurant. While it has been 3 months since my 20th anniversary at the company, they brought out a special cake for me.....that said, "HappyUP!!! 20 years."

HappyUP!!! - a great meeting
Why it happened - I have my branch managers in every month
Why it makes me happy - today's meeting went very manager's time was valued.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 319

HappyUP!!! - a Christmas present
Why it happened - my old home church people were thoughtful
Why it makes me happy - I received a matted and framed picture of my late father's obituary story
and picture that appeared in the paper. It was well done and will find a place in my home. It's a fascinating story.

HappyUP!!! - a shipment
Why it happened - I needed to reorder
Why it makes me happy - I order clothes by mail. Sometimes I get the wrong size. Last week, I quickly did a reorder to get the right size....and then forgot about it. It was nice seeing that package....and getting some new, correct fitting threads.

HappyUP!!! - a visit to my tailor
Why it happened - I had some pants that needed hemming
Why it makes me happy - my tailor is a mother/daughter shop. They have the most pleasant European accent. They have been doing this for years. They aren't the cheapest.....but they are very good. Most importantly, they always seem to have mirth in their hearts. Tailoring may seem menial....but they joyfully bend down and make those measurements and make suggestions.

HappyUP!!! - two visits with my nephew
Why it happened - I stopped by before work and late tonight
Why it makes me happy - I know he enjoys my visits. It hurts me deeply that he has to be laid up in the hospital. I just feel good when I can help him pass a few minutes of his long days. I know I cheer him up when I am there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 318

HappyUP!!! - toastmasters
Why it happened - it's Tuesdays
Why it makes me happy - a lot of laughs...and a lot of fun....and good information shared

HappyUP!!! - helping a client and a good conversation
Why it happened - I got some help from a peer and made a call
Why it makes me happy - just building a business relationship

HappyUp!!! - dessert crepe
Why it happened - we chose a restaurant to have a meeting
Why it makes me happy - a carmelized peach dessert crepe....with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Say no more...put a fork in me because I am done!

Monday, December 10, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 317

HappyUP!!! - working on some reports
Why it happened - someone finally sent me the raw materials
Why it made me happy - no, working on reports is not always my idea of a party. However, I have wanted some critical data for some time. I got it on Friday while I was out. I was digging in!

HappyUP!!! - market share
Why it happened - our industry is in turmoil
Why it made me happy - the mortgage industry (my business) has been less than a cupcake as of late. There is so much negativity that it is almost impossible to keep clear of it. It would probably be a little irresponsible to not stay up on the latest. With all the day to day skirmishes and casualties I see, it was at least good to see that our company is gaining some ground. We just keep plugging on. This was a boost.

HappyUP!!! - a lunch invitation
Why it happened - my friend sent me a text
Why it made me happy - I haven't seen this friend in months. I got a text around 11:05, "Lunch today?" I text back, "it has to be before noon." It was returned, "how about Dos at 11:30?" It was now 11:20. I text back that I was heading out the door. I had a lovely lunch with some great conversation.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 316

HappyUP!!! - a good night's sleep
Why it happened - it usually does
Why it makes me happy - I had a little insomnia the night before. For some reason, it is becoming a Friday night ritual

HappyUP!!! - time with my nephew
Why it happened - he's in the hospital
Why it makes me happy - I go make him laugh....and pass some very boring time.

HappyUP!!! - raking
Why it happened - I got off my fanny
Why it makes me happy - it was the biggest pile of leaves of the year! Plus, the smell of fallen leaves is still exciting to me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 315

HappyUP!!! - errands with a friend
Why it happened - I got a call
Why it makes me happy - it just so happened that my friend had to run a similar errand that I had been putting off. Much better to do things you put off with someone else

HappyUP!!! - visiting the nephew
Why it happened - he's my bud and he is down in the hospital
Why it makes me happy - trying to cheer the guy up. Plus, I ran into a couple of other friends while I was there. Going to the hospital is not a HappyUP!!! but trying to keep someone living in confinement from going nuts is.

HappyUP!!! - breakfast
Why it happened - it's Saturday
Why it makes me happy - just enjoying time with my adopted family.


Friday, December 07, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 314

HappyUP!!! - a lemon tart
Why it happened - shared a birthday dessert with a friend
Why it makes me happy - c'mon.......take a look at this. Even through a crappy phone camera and bad lighting, how good does this look? It looked so good, I almost didn't think of eating it........OK...that's a lie. Eating it is all I could think of! Deeelicious

HappyUP!!! - golf
Why it happened - it stopped raining
Why it makes me happy - it was good to be outdoors. This was the first time I had golfed in pants in some time. They got nice and muddy too!

HappyUP!!! - the insurance guy
Why it happened - handling dad's affairs
Why it makes me happy - this is the insurance guy that my late father turned much of his practice over to. My brother and I got to share and be shared with a little more about our father.

Bonus HappyUP!!! - Enchanted
Why it happened - decided to catch a movie
Why it makes me happy - Disney caught a winner with this one. This is just pure feel good. It was so charming that it even brought a tear to this middle aged guy's eye.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 313

HappyUP!!! - giving a gift
Why it happened - I was listening
Why it makes me happy - my 24 yr old nephew is in the hospital. He's going to be there for a few days. The TV choices are dreadful. I asked him if he had a handheld computer game system. He said, "No....those Nintendo DS things are cool, though." He went into surgery.....I was off to the electronics store. When he came out, it was there. I know it will help him through the boring days ahead.

HappyUP!!! - setting up another gift
Why it happened - I was listening
Why it makes me happy - the person is going to really appreciate what I will do. It will go to good use.

HappyUP!!! - rain
Why it happened - it's overdue
Why it makes me happy - WE NEED WATER! We have our first storm of somewhat significance passing through. Plus, it should get the last of the leaves down.....only one more raking to do!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 312

HappyUP!!! - problem solved
Why it happened - we do business...we have problems
Why it made me happy - this one was looking like somewhere between NO solution and a painful one. We caught a break and dodged a bullet.

HappyUP!!! - I found the key
Why it happened - I was looking for something else
Why it made me happy - long story so I'll just say I was missing a single car key that I needed. I was looking for something else......and I found it! There is more to the story and I don't want to bore you. It was a relief

HappyUP!!! - surgery went OK
Why it happened - it happens to my sweet nephew
Why it made me happy - surgery is a never ending fact of my nephew's life. It's hard for this one to be a HappyUP!!! because it means he is suffering again. This time, the surgery ended up being a little more major. While I didn't get to see him at the hospital, there will be time in the days ahead......unfortunately because it means he will still be in the hospital. Fortunately, because this one could have gotten a lot worse.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 311

HappyUP!!! -Territory Ahead order came in
Why it happened - I ordered on cyber Monday
Why it makes me happy - I desperately needed some new sweatshirts. It's getting cold out there!

HappyUP!!! - Toastmasters Table Topic
Why it happened - I got called on for an Xmas story
Why it makes me happy - I told my special story about Xmas giving.....and I cracked everyone up BIG TIME!

HappyUP!!! - passing on the pumpkin cheesecake
Why it happened - a lot of will power
Why it makes me happy - I had severe peer pressure to eat some of this free dessert....I mean severe! "Dude, it's worth the calories." I was a good boy, however, and got away from the luncheon unscathed. I am proud of myself.

Monday, December 03, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 310

HappyUP!!! - sticky problem resolved
Why it happened - a botched reorganization at work
Why it makes me happy - this got really ugly when all of the combatants got in the room. I had to "get into someone's grill" when they came at me. It's not my bag but I have plenty of that in me when I need to. Glad I don't need to that often. At the end, a peaceful resolution was arrived at.

HappyUP!!! - smell of cut grass
Why it happened - I decided to be "in the present"
Why it makes me happy - I was heading into a meeting. I had all kinds of thoughts in my head. Then I said, "what is happening this instant in your life." All of a sudden, I could smell the clean aroma of the landscapers work. It made me feel better than how I had been feeling just before that.

HappyUP!!! - condolence present
Why it happened - one of my managers is a sweetheart
Why it makes me happy - how can you not be happy about a Starbucks Kit for hot chocolate (including marshmallows) and a scrapbook to put memories of my father into? It was very touching

Sunday, December 02, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 309

HappyUP!!! - cleaning up my brother's/sis-in-law's house
Why it happened - I made the decision
Why it made me happy - we had the celebration of my father's life at their house yesterday. Many people that were close stayed late. My brother and his wife had been invited to play golf today so I knew they wouldn't be home. I went to their home to do as much picking up and dishwashing and such as possible. I knew they would appreciate it and, after all they did in getting ready for this get together, it was the least that I could do.

NOTE: the above was very selfish....and selfish sometimes gets a bad rap. Yes, I did the above for them....but I knew that it would make ME feel good. Nothing wrong with that.

HappyUP!!! - my sis-in-law called me
Why it happened - because I cleaned up their house (see above)
Why it made me happy - this is entirely different than the above. She didn't have to call me and I still would have been happy because I KNEW she would appreciate what I did. I left the house happy that I helped. I got another HappyUP!!! when she called to thank me. Ahhhh......a twofer!

HappyUP!!! - more time with my nephew
Why it happened - he stopped by his dad's house when I was there
Why it made me happy - we put away the tables together. We got to talk and just hang out. This kid is my own little hero which I can explain at another time.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 308

HappyUP!!! - found a picture
Why it happened - I kept looking
Why it makes me happy - it was a picture that we needed for the Celebration of Life event for my father today. It was a dear photo of my late mother as a beautiful young woman.

HappyUP!!!- people at the Celebration
Why it happened - they saw the obituary
Why it makes me happy - these guys didn't have to come to this event. They all showed up...friends, people that work for was much appreciated.

HappyUP!!! - helping a friend with his wife
Why it happened - she had been a touch "over served"
Why it makes me happy - it wasn't me that is going to wake up not feeling so well in the morning!

Friday, November 30, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 307

HappyUP!!! - errands
Why it happened - I took the day off
Why it makes me happy - when you are single, dropping off the car can be a pain....especially if the mechanic is in an out of the way place. My nephew and I were running an errand so we worked in getting the car dropped off.
I also took care of another little thing that went much faster than I thought it, I had gotten some bad information which led me to believe that I didn't have to take this step....WRONG!

HappyUP!!! - visitors
Why it happened - preparing for the celebration of life for my dad
Why it makes me happy - these people stopped by today because they are going to be out of town tomorrow. This couple have known my dad for 40 yrs or so. It sure was good to see them. They were also part of the contingent that would stop by while he was ill.

HappyUP!!! - time with my nephew
Why it happened - I am helping him with his house
Why it makes me happy - I dig hanging out with either of my nephews. I just don't get the opportunity to do it that often. It's great when I can.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 306

HappyUP!!! - call from a friend in Oregon
Why it happened - he was stuck in traffic
Why it made me happy - I hadn't talked to this guy in a long time. We are kindred spirits. We had a great time catching up. We definitely committed to playing golf at a great course up his way. He's picking the date and I am just going to show up

HappyUP!!! - time with my nephew and brother
Why it happened - I took some time off work
Why it made me happy - we did a little work on my nephew's house...his first house. Just us three guys
hanging out

HappyUP!!! - time with my sis-in-law
Why it happened - we were cleaning up my dad's effects
Why it made me happy - we found some cool photos. I was able to help them get their house back in order. We went shopping for libations for our houseguests this Saturday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 305

HappyUP!!! - more e-mails coming in
Why it happened - people are finding out about my Dad's passing
Why it makes me happy - people are being moved by the story that ran in the Bee. It's an honor to him.

HappyUP!!! - Pride and Joy
Why it happened - in honor of my dad
Why it makes me happy - my dad used to do this corny thing. People would show pictures of their kids. He would then say, "do you want to see my Pride and Joy?" He would then whip out a picture of the wax and detergent of the same name. We had seen the schtick so many times that we would always go, "ugh....he's found another victim." It always made people laugh, though. Now that he is gone, I couldn't resist picking up the tradition and doing it a few times.

HappyUP!!! - travels were smooth
Why it happened - I had to get back from LA
Why it makes me happy - it's always great to get back home.....especially right now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 304

HappyUP!!! - a peer liked the idea of HappyUP
Why it happened - I mentioned it in the meetings that I am at
Why it makes me happy - I use the HappyUP!!! concept a little differently at work. I try to catch my employees when they do something that makes me happy and I call it a HappyUP!!! When I mentioned
this concept in a breakout session, my peer brought it up in front of the entire group because he really
liked what I was doing. He may use it himself....HappyUP!!! spreads.

HappyUP!!! - feature story on my dad
Why it happened - the people at the Sacramento Bee read the obituary we submitted and wanted to do a full
Why it makes me happy - there aren't many people that actually get the featured obituary. There are a lot of reasons this makes me happy and they will get a post all of their own. In the meantime, you can see the story here.

HappyUP!!! - my presentation
Why it happened - I was at training meetings
Why it made me happy - by bosses boss came in when I was doing my second round. He knows that I am good at doing presentations. These presentations were more about public speaking practice and not content. It's a long story but I was very thankful that I didn't step on my tongue with this person in the room.

Monday, November 26, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 303

HappyUP!!! - a client's comment
Why it happened - I was at a meeting
Why it made me happy - this client has a dry sense of humor. He also commands a lot of respect. This provides for an interesting dynamic. All of a sudden, he will say something that you just don't see coming
because of his position.....and it provides that comedic twist that makes something very funny. I think it was
a good thing that I wasn't mid-sip on my coffee.....I may have spattered those around me.

HappyUP!!! - e-mails from a friend
Why it happened - I e-mailed him some heartfelt thank you's
Why it made me happy - my thank you made him feel as good as what he provided for me. The ultimate win-win.

HappyUP!!! - plane ride
Why it happened - I was on the flight with a co-worker that I don't usually get to spend much time with
Why it made me happy - the entire hour in the air.....and the 30 minute white knuckle cab ride....was sprinkled with just this side of appropriate humor.

Bonus HappyUP!!! - dinner
Why it happened - we stumbled across our big boss at the bar
Why it made me happy - we had a lot of laughs and got some higher level business discussion in. Fun and

Sunday, November 25, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 302

HappyUP!!! - takeout food
Why it happened - the family had an unexpected gathering
Why it made me happy - it was a day of comfort eating. Bucca De Beppo and the Roseville
Gourmet put together some awesome spreads that helped ease a little bit of the pain of
the day.

HappyUP!!! - friends
Why it happened - they heard about the event
Why it made me happy - every time I had to go over the news, it made me cry. Not too much
HappyUP!!! about the tears but happy to have the right people at the right places.

HappyUP!!! - Dad left with little pain
Why it happened - it was his time
Why it made me happy - I got to see him yesterday. His passing was not expected this soon
but it couldn't have come soon enough. He didn't suffer nearly as much as we feared that he
would. He can now be reunited with his wife of 53 years, my mother, who left almost to the
day 6 years ago.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 301

HappyUP!!! - a live chat with an old friend
Why it happened - I called into his radio show
Why it made me happy - I hadn't talked to Dr Mitch in years. He has a radio show on Saturdays out of Los Angeles. I tuned in a couple of times earlier in the year. For whatever reason, he came to mind today. He was doing his live broadcast which you can pull down through the computer. His show was about "what you are thankful for." He was just talking about men that flew in B-17's in WW2. I called in under my first name from Roseville. I told him I was thankful for my dad and his heroics in WW2 flying...and getting shot one of those B-17's. At the end of the call, I said, "great talking to you, Mitch." He replied, "Nutster, thanks for calling in." He had figured out it was me! That was fun.

HappyUP!!! - visiting my dad
Why it happened - he is getting respite care this weekend
Why it made me happy - who is kidding who? There isn't a lot to be happy about when it comes to his failing condition. This is a weekend when the hospice workers get a respite so he was moved to a facility for the weekend. He wasn't saying much today. There was no chair. I laid down next to him. He was asleep with his head back and eyes and mouth open. I reached down and put my hands on top of his hand. He smiled and mumbled, "that feels good." Lunch came and I helped to feed him. I did something for him.....that was a HappyUP!!! amidst the decline.

HappyUP!!! - Dr Mitch's program
Why it happened - I thought about his show today
Why it made me happy - I listened to a podcast in the background while I was doing some other things today.
His p-cast gave me this post. It's a very insightful thing to hear....and, hopefully, learn....and teach.

Chicks, Dudes, and the Difference

I was doing a little web surfing this morning - and decided to trip upon my old friend, Dr J. Mitchell Perry, and his radio show. I was delighted to find that he is doing podcasts of some of his weekly programs.

As many of you know - the Nutster has been single for quite some time. I have spent a lot of time thinking about why this is. I did not say that I spent time lamenting. I said, THINKING!

Newsflash - there is nothing "wrong" with being single. Society does it's best to make single people feel like there is. There is not. Here is the fact: you can be single. You can be in relationship. That's it.....that's all there is.

As I look over the fence - and see the relationship side, I see a lot of really green grass. There is companionship. There is a remedy for those times when solitude can drift to loneliness
. Many singles
stop right there.

As usual, I go a step further - I allow my glance to travel across the barb wire and inspect the flora that is growing under my own feet.........and it looks pretty darn green too.

"Oh Nutster, you are just another guy that can't commit" - I can hear you already........m'am. As I have conjured upon this topic, I would say there are times when I would say this is a possibility. The think that I couldn't commit to was that that was the reason!

Dr Mitch, on his podcast, Fix it in Five and Tune it in Ten - (find it here...JM Perry Products )
, brilliantly encapsulates many of the dynamics of a male/female personal relationship. He captures many of the things that have crossed my mind.......and adds a few along with a brilliant cherry on top.

What She Wants from Him

1. Listen (that means SHUT UP!)
2. Pay attention to me and BE with me
3. Empathize (Quit giving me advice and fixing it)
4. Hold me...Cherish me I'm the one ("...and quit reaching for my area." )

What He Wants Her

1. Look Good
2. Pay attention and DO things with me
3. Sexual Gymnastics - Quantity and Quality (yes, screaming like a banshee is included)
4. Treat me like a King

Dr. Mitch goes over this list in seminars. He gets wild agreement from both sides of the gender that this is, in fact, what they want. He then goes to the men, "What do you think? Can you do what the other side wants?"

The men respond with, "I may not be very good at it but I am willing to try."

The women have a different spin. They come back with, "NO!" or, "Yes, but..............."

...................and this is why I am single.

Friday, November 23, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 300

Let's strike up the band! - 3 laps around the track and we begin lap 4!

300 Days of HappyUP!!!'s on the books - let's point out just a few of today's highlights. Well, you all know the drill. It's not about a's 3.

HappyUP!!! - indoor golf
Why it happened - I heard about it and acted
Why it makes me happy - a new closeby venue that can tell me a lot about my golf swing. Instant computerized
feedback told me a lot. It also neat to know that I could go there late at night as well.....or on a midday break from the office

HappyUP!!! - holiday e-mails from friends
Why it happened - it was the holiday
Why it makes me happy - this is one thing about e-mail is it makes it easy to connect with people that you
wouldn't have sent a card to or vice versa. You get to hear about what they are up to. It's good to keep track of you circle...even those on the outer rings.

HappyUP!!! - a hard mile
Why it happened - it was time for an assessment
Why it makes me happy - I did it. It wasn't going well but I gutted it out and did the best that I could
The results? See below post....not a HappyUP!!! Hey, it's about the experience.

Back to the Track - Assessment Day

This may look like a pretty scene to you - late season over. The cheerleaders have moved their pom poms indoors. Football players have created stories that some of them will still be telling 50 years from now.

For me - it was the look of an accident waiting for a place to happen. There was a strong likelihood that a horror story was about to take place.

Some of you may have remembered my last trip here- yes, it was back in June. I do an assessment of my health on this track. It had been 5 months and not a lot of consistent excercise since then. I figure that if I measure how fast I can get around this puppy four times every once in awhile, it should give me an idea of how my fitness is. Back in June, it was 7:07...Seven Minutes and seven seconds. I was probably about 5 pounds heavier back in June.

My first trip to this track was in February - 6:59 seconds to get around 4 times. I was weighing about what I do now. Yes, the amount of weight you are pulling along does effect your time.

Today, I had a feeling it was going to be tough - 7:37.....for one mile. Ouch! A far cry from 26.2 of these back to back at 6 minutes a mile. Of course, that was 23 years and 30 pounds was another lifetime.

Why do I still think back to then? - it's a new day. I am a 48 year old guy that can break 8 minutes for a mile. It is what it is. When I was 47, I broke the seven minute mark. I just need to do that again before next August when I turn 49.

...and, in the meantime, - hope that I don't cough up a lung! No, I'm not sick.....that run put some strain on the pipes!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 299

HappyUP!!! - laughter
Why it happened - Thanksgiving Dinner
Why it made me happy - I don't even remember what it was. I was at my best friend's parents house for dinner. My best friend, his brother and myself were left at the dining room table. Somebody said something and another one of us said something else and we were all laughing that laugh that you can't stop....even though it hurts.
CAUTION: this is dangerous on a turkey laden stomach!

HappyUP!!! - flowers
Why it happened - my best friend tipped me off
Why it made me happy - I took my best friend's mom some flowers for Thanksgiving. I probably wouldn't have thought of that. I had asked my best friend what I could bring to the feast. "Just bring yourself," he said. He happened to be at the store when we talked. "Hey, I just saw someone with flowers. It looked nice. That would be a good idea." As usual, the flowers were well received.

HappyUP!!! - guitar playing
Why it happened - a lazy morning
Why it made me happy - I really dig holiday mornings when you don't have anything planned....anything that you really should be doing. I did some serious noodling until the fingers were a little's one of the best sorenesses there is.

SuperHappyUP!!! - dinner......but that will get a posting all of it's own.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tonight Was Weird

An old friend called me - I was just leaving work. We talked as I drove home. I got to my house. The conversation drifted to the day that it was.

Thanksgiving Eve - my friend asked if I was OK. I said that I was. My friend knew what Thanksgiving Eve will always be marked as for me. As I said that, I looked at the clock. It was 5:02 pm.

"It's exactly 6 years to the minute," - I told my friend, "since I last saw my mother alive."

Thanksgiving sometimes falls early - sometimes it falls late. This time, the date of Thanksgiving Eve coincided exactly with the date that my mother passed. I had stopped by to visit on my way home. I told my parents that I had to run an errand and then stop by my house. I said that I would be back in an hour.

45 minutes later - my dad was calling me to tell me that the paramedics had arrived and that my mom didn't look good.

I dropped everything and rushed the mile over to my parents house - all the emergency vehicles were there ...and my mother was being wheeled out. My dad was right. She looked so pale.

We didn't know for sure - while we waited at the hospital. I think that we both dad and I. We didn't entertain the thought. After getting the news, we were allowed a final visit.

People get squeamish - at the thought of dead bodies. I know that did....and still do. Any discomfort goes away when it is your own mother. I stroked her hair. I kissed her forehead. I told her what a good mom she was.

....and now here I am - the date and the eve of Thanksgiving were aligned for the first time since my mom passed. It was the same time as the last time that I saw her.

I guess it was good that I was talking to my friend - I am not sure I would have looked at the clock. Of course, it didn't give me a private moment but I didn't really need one. Time is just a creation of man. The exact moment is really just a coincidence. The memory lives on. Thanksgiving Eve will always be a special time for me.

It was the last conversation - and the final kiss and a farewell parting of the hair.

HappyUP!!! Day 298

HappyUP!!! - an easy fix
Why it happened - I made a "per chance" phone call
Why it makes me happy - I called to ask for a favor to delay the solving of a problem. This would have allowed us to at least move forward with the project while a key issue was being worked out. In so doing, the person that I called knew something I didn't and removed the impediment totally. Too easy!

HappyUP!!! - haircut
Why it happened - I was due
Why it makes me happy - I didn't get the regular barber. I got the new guy. I was a little nervous because I have big meetings next week and my haircut is a little edgy. I am not picky about my hair....I just couldn't have it looking stupid. Plus, because I took the new guy, I got done a lot faster because 4 guys were waiting for my regular barber.

HappyUP!!! - dinner with a friend
Why it happened - my friend gave me a call
Why it makes me happy - we hadn't seen each other or talked at length for some time. It's always good to do
some visiting with a friend face to face.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 297

HappyUP!!! - time with a friend and long time employee
Why it happened - ad hoc conversations occur
Why it makes me happy - it is just one of those times when you one can have a needed
candid conversation. Tough subjects discussed but done in a way of help.

HappyUP!!! - call from a recruit
Why it happened - the person called me unexpectedly
Why it makes me happy - while I would like the person to work for us now, it is a
process. As long as the call keeps coming inbound, we are still on track

HappyUP!!! - Toastmasters
Why it happened - it was Tuesday
Why it makes me happy - we were short on attendance due to the holiday...very
short. BUT we all agreed we were long on quality!

Monday, November 19, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 296

HappyUP!!! - morning time
Why it happened - I got up early
Why it made me happy - I got in some reading before I went to work. I actually looked at the clock after I had been up for awhile and said, "oh, I have another 45 minutes before I need to get ready for work." Relaxing.

HappyUP!!! - meeting time
Why it happened - I visited with one of my managers today
Why it made me happy - I got to see her in action.....and it was good.

HappyUP!!! - a steak
Why it happened - I bought it Sat night
Why it made me happy - it had tenderized for two days with the Worchester.....delicious after a few minutes over the grill.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 295

HappyUP!!! - trading e-mails with an acquaintance
Why it happened - the acquaintance was going through a tough time
Why it makes me happy - I think the person appreciated my overture of caring. While what I e-mailed was nice and one could say, "Nutster, what a nice guy," always remember that we are all selfish. While it was a nice thing, at the end of the day, it made me feel good to send the message. Selfishness can be a good thing.

HappyUP!!! - ran across an old friend
Why it happened - I had to work for a bit today at an auction
Why it makes me happy - it was good to catch up. It had been years since I had seen this person. We just shot the breeze and enjoyed each other's company.

HappyUP!!! - weigh in
Why it happened - it happens every Sunday
Why it makes me happy - I was only up 2 pounds. Only???? My trip out of town this week could have (should have) been disastrous on my waistline. It could have been much worse. It's time to knuckle down for a few days before Thanksgiving

A Place At The Table (Rerun)

(I posted this last year....I could just do a hyperlink. It didn't seem right. Here is the original article in it's entirety to begin to put you in the holiday mode)

Thanksgiving? - yes, it's called that. To the long-winded, I suppose it could be called Thanksforthereceiving...

....and there is no one in need to be more thankful - than the guy writing this post.

I come from an average size family - but, along the way, I lost my mom and a brother. This cuts it down to just my elderly father, my brother and sister-in-law, and me.

This Thanksforthereceiving - saw my brother and father travelling to be with my sister-in-law's family for the holiday. She has a great family and I am thrilled that she and my brother take such good care of pops on a daily basis....even taking him to be around lots of people on a day like this. Dad likes that.

So, the Nutster was left all alone - but, being a bit of an introvert, it really wasn't going to be that big of a deal. It's not like the ol waistline needed a day of, there was plenty of painting to do around the homestead.

But, I got the invitation that I couldn't ignore - even though I never committed to showing up....a real social faux paus.

My best friend of 33 years - invited me to go to his parents house and be with his family on Turkey Day.

I finished slapping a coat of latex on a baseboard - and said, "doggone it, Scott, get your fanny out of here and over to their house."

...and, when I arrived, my best friend's mother grabbed my arm - and took me into the dining room. She said, " is a place at the table for you with your name on it. We didn't know for sure if you were coming but we were sure hoping that you would come through for us."

Did you get that line? - "we were hoping that you would come through.....for us." What, so I could show up and have free plunder of fine food that was deliciously prepared for hours? So I could feast upon the love that you have had to develop within your family for 58 years?....and all I have to do is show up?...and I am doing this for you? Huh?

I wish I could remember the quote and who said it - but I can't. I can only try to paraphrase. It goes something like this:

It is a mark of success to enter a room and have people genuinely glad that you were there.

In my case - my biggest success was in choosing such good people to be friends with.....the grace they continue to extend to me is far beyond any that I possess...that is for sure.

My hope for all of you - is that you found a place at the table this Thanksgiving. I know many did not. Why I did is only testimony to the grace that God bestows upon me everyday.

Let's not reserve - the feeling of thanksforthereceiving for just one day in late for November. The opportunity to tap into that feeling is something that is there the other 364 days of the year as well. Next Thanksforreceiving is much too far away.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 294

HappyUP!!! - time with my best friend
Why it happened - the whole clan couldn't come to breakfast
Why it made me happy - we spent about 2 hrs at breakfast...then we went driving around. Just killing time and not doing any of those "oh so important" things that we should/could have been doing. We had a good chat as well.

HappyUP!!! - catching the smile video
Why it happened - I happened to check up on one of my favorite websites
Why it made me happy - look at the previous post. The picture enough is worth it. As I went out in public, I tried to put on that "smile like no one is looking" face. I can have a pretty serious "default" face.....when all I am doing is thinking. There is no question that a smile just puts you in a better mood and creates a better aura.

HappyUP!!! - Deal or No Deal
Why it happened - I was catching some mindless tube
Why it made me happy - they had a cute little gal as a contestant. She was a teacher who left her school to take on graduate school this year. Last year, she took her girls to the national championship in cheerleading. It was moving when the producers showed a special video and cheer the girls had done for their coach.....and then they showed up on the show. They even had the girls be the "models" opening the cases. The coach didn't win a ton of dough but she made good decisions, pocketed some decent coin, and created some excellent TV.

Special HappyUP!!! - Natalie Gulbis is in the final 8 of the ADT Golf Championship tomorrow gunning for a million bucks. Natalie is HOT!!! (I mean as a golfer, of course) She's also a hometown girl. Nobody expects her to win tomorrow so I am hoping she kicks some........girl fanny!

What comes first? The smile or the things to smile about?

OK, time for me to share - one of my favorite websites amongst the gazillions of websites that you can find.

Perhaps good news will never sell - a newspaper or a TV show. This link isn't about good news. It's about thought provoking videos to make one assess their own philosophies.

While the creator, - Nik Askew, has been inconsistent as of late because he has immigrated to a new country, he usually has a new video every Monday morning at 9. It's not a fancy website. This is one where Substance rules over Style.

...just the way I like it.

Check out this weeks entry here

You can also catch the entire library of past videos here

You can thank me for the experience later - can.

Friday, November 16, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 293

HappyUP!!! - conference call
Why it happened - we debrief after we do a training call
Why it made me happy - I was recognized as "Nutster rocks!" Hey, you put some time into other people and they appreciate it.

HappyUP!!! - meeting with a potential business source
Why it happened - one of my direct reports set it up
Why it made me happy - we had a good meeting. We may do some business. I learned some things.

HappyUP!!! - breakfast
Why it happened - I do that with a direct report on occasion
Why it made me happy - we discussed some critical business strategies....and had some fun

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 292

HappyUP!!! - being sought out for advice
Why it happened - I am conducting training outside my world
Why it makes me happy - who knows if the people will use the guidance that they asked for. It is kind of nice, however, to be asked for advice. Sometimes, in my own backyard, I feel like I am underutilized by the people downline from me.

HappyUP!!! - travel went perfectly
Why it happened - I'm lucky?
Why it makes me happy - I just wanted to get home. The cab was waiting outside the hotel for me. There was no traffic to speak of in LA (a rarity) as I think I just ducked under the window for that. The plane was on time. My bag came right out. Best of all, I found my truck in the parking garage right away......despite having not written down where I had parked. I didn't have to do the "row to row" zombie walk.

HappyUP!!! - helped fix two deals for my downline
Why it happened - the deals got sideways
Why it makes me happy - it's good to know where to push the buttons when you need to. The underwriter picked the phone right up....a rarity....and we got down to business. I like taking care of my peeps.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 291

HappyUP!!! - a room with a view
Why it happened - I was conducting training at Industry Hills
Why it makes me happy - there is no question that I would have been HAPPIER if I was playing this golf course. Yet, knowing there was no time on this trip for that, I still got some enjoyment from seeing this outside my balcony. Tiger Woods played this tract a lot as he grew up.

HappyUP!!! - spending some one on one with a new colleague
Why it happened - we had a drink in the "executive lounge" after a day of training
Why it makes me happy - he has been around a while. He knows some influential people in the company. It was interesting to get his take on the things in the company. He gave me a piece of "news" as well.

HappyUP!!! - got a favor from a friend
Why it happened - it was the law of reciprocity
Why it makes me happy - I did something for her....and she returned the favor. She didn't really need to but I sure appreciated it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 290 - on the road training new hires

HappyUP!!! - today's session went well
Why it happened - I have done it before and am always trying to improve
Why it makes me happy - I am helping new hires feel better about working here. I am helping them change the way they think. I can identify where they are at. There may be someone in that group that says years from now, "I heard something from this guy a long time ago at a training....I have never forgotten made a difference in my career.

HappyUP!!! - bread pudding
Why it happened - it was a dessert option at lunch
Why it made me happy - how often do you get a chance to have bread pudding? Delicious

HappyUP!!! - skipped dinner
Why it happened - I made a decision
Why it made me happy - these trainings are a dangerous place when it comes to weight gain. I had a big lunch......with bread pudding. I said, "Nutster, if you have the bread pudding, you get no dinner." I held to the commitment!

Monday, November 12, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 289

HappyUP!!! - my work computer is back
Why it happened - we did a swap out on thursday
Why it makes me happy - I gave my work computer in blind faith to the tech people. I did not back up. There was no point. I had to trust that everything that was on my hard drive would be backed up to the corporate server and reloaded on to my machine. It worked! Flawlessly!!!

HappyUP!!! - easy call to the help desk
Why it happened - see above HappyUP!!!
Why it makes me happy - calling the help desk was part of the process. We encountered virtually no issues.

HappyUP!!! - easy travel
Why it happened - I went to the airport early
Why it makes me happy - bad things can happen when you travel. Good things do to....especially if you aren't too stressed to notice them. My plane was on time, the flight was great, we landed, I got my bag, and a cab. No issues

Sunday, November 11, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 288

HappyUP!!! - birdieing the first hole...parring the second....and birdieing the third
Why it happened - because of my exceptional golf skills?
Why it makes me happy - hey, I was two under after three holes.....on one of the most difficult golf courses that I have ever played. This was 7300 yards of beast in the wind. By the end of the day, 2 under turned into 17 over but at least I got off to a good start.

HappyUP!!! - making a 10 footer on the last hole
Why it happened - I needed it
Why it makes me happy - the pressure was on. If I miss that putt, my partner and I lose some bets. I got up and drilled it into the back of the cup. Ahhhhhhh.....I can still hear the roar of the crowd.

HappyUP!!! - winning a couple of skins
Why it happened - see the previous HappyUP!!!
Why it makes me happy - Nobody of the other 17 golfers birdied the first hole. It was also a stroke hole for me so I got a gross skin and a net skin. At that point, I was free wheeling the rest of the day.

HappyUP!!! - winning $140 at blackjack
Why it happened - the golf course was next to the Indian Casino
Why it makes me happy - I was up.....then I was down $150....then I was up $230....and I just decided to get up and look for the guys I was with in the Casino at that point. I was getting good cards but I'd had enough. In another day, I would still be playing. It's nice to walk out a winner!

HappyUP!!! - sleeping during the rain
HappyUP!!! - early morning pick up and drive
HappyUP!!! - golfing with 17 other guys
HappyUP!!! - seeing a long lost golf contact

Saturday, November 10, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 287

HappyUP!!! - breakfast
Why it happened - it happens out on Saturday
Why it makes me happy - I got my weekly chat with my friend.

HappyUP!!! - finding the cell phone
Why it happened - I looked hard
Why it makes me happy - I am heading out of town. It would have been a major nosebleed had it gone lost last night.

HappyUP!!! - being out late
Why it happened - I was invited
Why it makes me happy - I am not a night owl. It is good to get out once in awhile....even if it was a bit of a dive bar. Nope...I don't want to make a habit of it. I missed my morning which makes me appreciate it more. (Hey, this happened yesterday...why is it a HappyUP!!! today? was a late night....yesterday became today!)

Friday, November 09, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 286

HappyUP!!! - 18 holes of golf
Why it happened - rate of play sped up
Why it makes me happy - I love to finish what I start. Teeing off at 1:30, it didn't look like we would get done before dark. Visibility was poor on the last hole but we got it done.

HappyUP!!! - checked out the new restaurant
Why it happened - we were hungry
Why it makes me happy - I can say that "I've been there." Now, that's not a big deal...especially because I only had appetizers so I haven't really tested the fare at Paul Martin's. I have seen inside. I have sat at the bar. It looks like a pretty cool place so I am sure I will be eating there soon.

HappyUP!!! - some "striped" golf shots
Why it happened - working on the swing
Why it makes me happy - sometimes you play 18 without ever hitting a perfect shot. I probably had 4 or 5 today. Now, I just have to make those bad ones not be as bad!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 285

HappyUP!!! - visit from my assistant's daughter
Why it happened - my assistant got picked up by her husband
Why it made me happy - I don't get to see this little one very often. I am told
she isn't shy.....but she was sure shy around me. No, I didn't put on a scary mask
and try to spook her. Oh....wait....maybe just me sitting behind my desk smiling was
like a horror story. Yikes! My poor self esteem. Anyway, we had a lot of fun with her shyness.
I also learned that, with this little one, candy seemed to overcome fear!

HappyUP!!! - call from a client
Why it happened - he dialed me up
Why it made me happy - I learned some things about the market. He also was extending himself
to try to help me. That felt good

HappyUP!!! - a Toastmasters DVD
Why it happened - Toastmasters sent me one
Why it made me happy - it's a quality recruiting piece. It really explains what we do at

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 284

HappyUP!!! - unplanned PTO
Why it happened - I took it
Why it made me happy - I was going to take Monday off and go to Phoenix early. I decided not to go to Phoenix early....but I made up for it today. I am not good about taking time off. You may not think this is a big deal. A day of hooky is to me.

HappyUP!!! - weather
Why it happened - who knows
Why it made me happy - I knew it was coming...the weather. It was one of the reasons I have the previous HappyUP!!! I soaked in a perfect 72 degree day today out on the golf course. I kept using the word, "stunning," with my golf partner. It was unbelievable. It just felt so good to be alive. The golf was "stunning" too in a different way....eeks. That is not what I remember.

HappyUP!!! - helping my golf partner
Why it happened - he asked for help
Why it made me happy - when you can help a person on the golf course and they start nailing the driver, there is nothing better. This guy had s ome good form. He was trying to fix something the logical way....but golf can be very counter-intuitive. Anyway, when he left the golf course, he was excited about the next trip to the links. Hey, my golf may have been off (working on a swing change).....but I can still help someone.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 283

HappyUP!!! - good meeting with the boss
Why it happened - we had an impromptu meeting before the site visit in Phoenix
Why it makes me happy - it's good to see all of my peers face to face and hear what they are going through. I also got a commitment out of my boss for us to get on a plane and get something fixed.

HappyUP!!! - travel went well
Why it happened - I got to the airport early
Why it makes me happy - it just doesn't make sense to cut it close...especially when you have a laptop and can get some things done at the airport. If I am traveling on business, I just refuse to cut it close. It's not worth the stress. Plus, I carried on and my flight arrived early....back home for a nice night in my own bed.

HappyUP!!! - shuttle ride
Why it happened - the hotel provided it
Why it made me happy - it's a long story. Here we were....high powered managers...6 of us. We had all flown to Phoenix to visit a site.....and none of us knew where it was. The number of phone calls we had to place was comical. We got two different addresses and almost took off to the wrong one. One could be shuttled to. The other required a cab. The cab was on it's way until we got confirmation we were within shuttle difference. "hey, someone send me a tent.....I need something to throw over this circus!" Then, all 6 of us packed into the mini-van. Nice and cozy.

HappyUP!!! Day 282

HappyUP!!! - travel went flawlessly
Why it happened - who's a crapshoot
Why it makes me happy - I got to the airport about 3 hrs early...maybe 3 and a half. I had the laptop with me so it doesn't matter where I do my work from. The airline had a flight going out before mine...about an hour before. They had to cancel it. They said over the loudspeaker, "....sorry for inconvenience....due to mechanical issue... your safety is everything." The announcer kept stumbling when he got to the "mechanical" part of the announcement. It was a lack of confidence. Funny...about 3 minutes before that announcement, an airline employee went running by me. She didn't see me as she said to another employee something about a bomb. Anyway, I was glad my bags weren't already on the previous flight and that I didn't have to scramble.

HappyUP!!! - the annointed turd
Why it happened - someone said "Holy Shit!"
Why it made me happy - I had never put that connotation to that phrase. I don't think I have ever seen such a fabulous feces that it got that kind of billing.

HappyUP!!! - rib eye lunch
Why it happened - I bought a steak on Saturday and hadn't eaten it
Why it made me happy - with traveling, I didn't want that luscious piece of meat spoiling in the fridge. Instead, I BBQ'd it up right before going to the airport. It had been marinating with a little worchester sauce for two days....add a little garlic salt over the top.....grill.....happy tummy!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 281

HappyUP!!! - waking up early....and getting an extra hour because of the time change
Why it happened - I guess I had slept enough
Why it makes me happy - I love morning....especially right now. This morning, it was like I got two extra hours of it.

HappyUP!!! - GOLF!
Why it happened - we had a tee time
Why it makes me happy - I was playing bad.....bad.....BAD! Then, I hit it tight on 15 and made the birdie putt, got the 4 carryover greenies on the par three 16th, got on in two on the long par 4 17th into the wind, and then almost got home in two on the par 5 18th. I chipped up and made the birdie put. The round was not good but the last 4 holes was two under par.......and that will keep me going for days!

HappyUP!!! - my neglected garden
Why it happened - hey, it was supposed to stop I stopped watering
Why it makes me happy - I threw a tomato, a jalapeno, and a bell pepper into my salad tonight. I even plucked a loan strawberry and got a sweet treat while I was out there.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 280

HappyUP!!! - breakfast alone
Why it happened - the gang couldn't make it
Why it made me happy - while I prefer Sat mornings with my adopted family, a little breakfast on one's own can be a good thing. I got to finish my book....the ending left me with tears of compassion and happiness.

HappyUP!!! - top down....doing errands
Why it happened - the weather was superb
Why it made me happy - I have three cars. I probably should get rid of the convertible.....but it ain't happening! Not after a day like today. The weather was mid to upper 70's. There is no better weather than a good fall in Northern California. Just stunning weather.

HappyUP!!! - a gut hurting, tear producing belly laugh
Why it happened - I cracked myself up sending an e-mail
Why it made me happy - the endorphins and/or seratonin....whatever it is that kicks in when you laugh....was raging full on. I am not sure if I still don't have some by-product. Laughter is good for the soul. You can even produce it yourself.

Money and Happiness

(A special post for my friends at SundayScribblings )

I graduated from college with a degree in business in 1981. Interest rates and the cost of money was high. It's funny that I had just gotten through my studies and had no idea what high interest rates meant in the real world. In this case, it meant the employment market was a little bit tight.

This was fine because I hadn't yet decided what to do with my life. Over the course of my college time, I had spent some college breaks helping out my brother. He was a contractor and I would do some work off and on to make a few extra dollars. It was basic grunt work but I appreciated it. It was around the time of my completion of my formal education that he was starting to build a new house on speculation. I had never been on a project from the beginning to end so I was hired on as the laborer. It was here that I would begin a 6 year career in the construction industry. It seems strange to call it an industry. I did about everything. I dug ditches, poured concrete, painted, framed, roofed, etc. They never let me touch the wiring. I think it had something to do with a contractors warranty that future inhabitants would not get fried. This is exactly what would have happened if my electrician skills matched my carpentry skills.

No, I never "got it" when it came to the trades. Still, my brother took care of me and I was able to make a subsistence living between him and other contractors that I knew. I did this for 6 years. At the end, I was in great shape and had an excellent tan. Try framing houses in a Sacramento summer when there are 35 days over a 100 degrees and you start being darkly complected.

I lived in a duplex. Two of my high school buddies had graduated from college and this was their first pad since obtaining real jobs.

When they moved in, they said, "hey, dude, move in with us."

"It only has two bedrooms and, while I love you guys, I don't love either of you enough to sleep with."

Shortly after that, I was sleeping on a day bed in the dining room with my dresser out in the garage. I paid the guys $75 a month for rent. Little did I know, they would have let me stay for free because I had brought a refrigerator and a couch into the equation. Sometimes it was a stretch but I always made the rent.

I think fondly back to those days of being 28 years old and broke. I went into the mortgage business. I learned the craft. I struggled like many do when they begin to build a practice. I ended up almost $3000 in debt. I remember worrying about money. I remember asking myself if I was happy. I never could quite answer the question. I was having a good time. I had my friends.

It's twenty years later now. Debt is far behind me. I have done better financially than I would have imagined back then. I study the subject of "Happiness" now because I never have been able to answer that question, "Am I happy?"

I have come to land at a spot that tells me that isn't a question that any of us should really answer. Are we good judges of ourselves? Should we judge anyone....including ourselves?

Perhaps a better question is, "am I happier now that I have money than when I didn't?"

I honestly would have to answer, "No. I was fine then. I am fine now." I don't concern myself with having enough money to pay the rent. Instead, I concern myself about having enough money to retire. By most standards, people would say that I am doing well. Yet, I could live another 50 years....the US economy could have a recession...a depression....gas could be $5 a gallon....these wars we get in cost a pretty penny....the Democrats could tax the heck out of me. I could go on forever. It is for this reason that I don't.

I have spent 21 years in the mortgage business. I see people behind the facade. I see the bank accounts, the income, the credit reports, the divorces, and the illnesses. From a subjective viewpoint, I can't equate money as a predictor of how happy the people seem to be.

We all have heard it since we were children. The scientists have now studied the wealthy versus people that make a living and have now proven it. I have now lived it. Money does not buy happiness. I am about as happy now as I have always been. It's my nature. I see Donald Trump on numerous shows. He doesn't seem any happier than I am. I see the contestants on The Apprentice go through an arduous process of turning on their friends so they can work for Mr Trump. I ask, "what's the prize?"

Happiness is a pursuit. It is something that must be worked at. Happiness comes from choice. My nightly HappyUP!!!'s and reflecting upon the good things that happened that day have been one of the most effective things that I have ever done to increase my level of happiness. I end every day on a note of reflection about the things that gave me moments of happiness throughout the day. I have more moments of pure happiness now than I have ever had in my life. Just today, I cracked myself up so much that my stomach hurt and tears came to my eyes. Earlier in the same day, I read a piece of a book that moved me so much that it brought tears of happiness to my eyes.

If you have the ability to make choices in how you perceive your surroundings, you have the ability to be as happy as you want to be.

Some Say That I Am Cheap

I live on common ground
Though could afford to dwell among the elite
vacations in modest quarters
Yet could enjoy extravagant villas
Some say that I am cheap

The finest cars can grace my garage
Wines of the finest vintage could tumble across lips
Young women beyond number
could pass before my threshold
All these things I am told that I should desire
Am I cheap or is it that I can't hear

Things pass
Decaying hubris to soil
Hands wither in search of lotion
Unnecessarily exposed to winter's harsh touch

I spend my money to purchase time
Time to spend alone
To conjure upon snails and window pots
The next time we meet
You will find out what they have told me
What value do you bring to me
Tell me now who is cheap