Thursday, May 31, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 124

HappyUP!!! - last night's party!
Why it happened - we always host a gala event at the convention
Why it made me happy - I get to see so many people that I rarely new people...learn new things. I received a business card and a golf invitation. I got the semi-clearance to delve into a new business opportunity.
Good stuff.

HappyUP!!! - someone in my circle is remarrying
Why it happened - I found out at the party
Why it makes me happy - I not only found out the news....I met the person that my friend is marrying. Wow! He did good. This is one sweet lady with a good head on her shoulders. While only time can tell, it sure appears that he is marrying up......and, if you knew my friend, you would know that is a tough thing to do! I am ecstatic for him.

HappyUP!!! - the morning speaker
Why it happened - there is always a speaker at the breakfast that kicks off the days at the convention
Why it makes me happy - this was a Harvard business professor and former CEO of his company. Academia mixed with practical experience will always hold my attention. He gave a great talk about how company's made all the right moves....the ones that Harvard Business School would have told them to make.....and how, in the end, those moves proved to be the undoing of the company. The underdogs win!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 123

HappyUP!!! - breakfast with my buddy, Phil.
Why it happened - we saw each other at a convention
Why it makes me happy - I only get to see my friend occasionally. Much too seldomly. We used to be peers in the same department. While still peers and still the same distance away, organizational changes mean that we don't have much contact. It is a bit of a shame but it is always good to reacquaint.

HappyUP!!! - morning speaker
Why it happened - someone had to keynote
Why it makes me happy - the speaker is an editor of Newsweek. He had a fresh perspective on the global economy and terrorism. Terrorists only win if they inflict terror was his reminder. He also mentioned that, while no one wants it, as many people have drown in bathtubs as have been killed by terrorists since 9/11. Perspective is important...even in tragedy.

HappyUP!!! - cream puffs!
Why it happened - they have great ones in SF
Why it makes me happy - oh, come on, do I really have to explain this one. All you had to do was read the sign, "World's Greatest Cream Puffs." The only thing that makes me unhappy is that I forgot to take a picture of the shop!....and I had my camera!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 122

HappyUP!!! - woke up before an early alarm clock

Why it happened - I guess my body was ready

Why it made me happy - the alarm clock didn't rule the world on a day that it should have

HappyUP!!! - stitches
Why it happened - I went for a tetanus shot
Why it makes me happy - I was kind of wondering whether yesterday's incident may have needed stitches. No more mind is at ease

HappyUP!!! - a nice hotel
Why it happened - business
Why it makes me happy - hey, I am no prima donna. I can sleep anywhere. It's just nice when you can enjoy a little better than that.

Monday, May 28, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 121....Thumbs UP

HappyUP!!! - I still have a right thumb

Why it happened - I didn't slice the whole thing off

Why it makes me happy - well, for one thing, I am instinctively learning to hit the space bar with my left thumb as I type this ('s almost instinctual...I am ambithumbrious). Anyway, it was a stupid yardwork accident. I ran a manual edger across my right thumb. Don't even ask me how I did it. I don't think I could even do it again. I reached down as I was bracing on the edger. A little slip and....GASH! Man, talk about a bleeder.

HappyUP!!! - stuffed 8 ball zucchini

Why it happened - I planted a different kind of squash this year

Why it made me happy - I have a bunch of these new-to-me vegetable growing. I had to find a recipe. I altered it and stuffed it with the zucchini innards, bell pepper, a jalapeno, and some basil....all from my garden. I threw in some parmesian and bread crumbs to boot. Let me tell you....this was some awfully good squash!

HappyUP!!! - did a little straightening up

Why it happened - an extra day off
Why it made me happy - I'll get this house put together yet. Everytime I get closer, it makes me feel better.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 120

HappyUP!!! - a winning ticket
Why it happened - I put $10 in a pool
Why it made me happy - my Indy Car Driver came in second place. The pool was a small one. It wasn't the $20 that I got back on the original 10 spot that made me happy. The feeling of cashing a ticket is what it was about. Winning feels better than losing....and, even though there was no skill involved AND I didn't take first place, it just feels good to win. Plus, the pool kept the race interesting.

HappyUP!!! - Barbeque
Why it happened - my bro and sis in law had guests over to see my dad
Why it made me happy - getting together with friends is always fun. I also got to talk with a friend of my dad's that I hadn't seen in forever. I got to talk with the friend's son-in-law too. He is a friend that I run into a few times a year.

HappyUP!!! - clean sheets
Why it happened - I changed sheets yesterday
Why it made me happy - this is a small one. Many of the best HappyUP!!!'s are. It was just that "clean sheets" know what I mean. It also makes me wonder. If you changed your sheets everyday, would you get the "clean sheets" feeling? I don't think so. Anyway, I like that feeling now and again.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 119

HappyUP!!! - sleeping in a bit
Why it happened - I was late getting home from watching dad last night
Why it made me happy - my body is amazing. I am a 5 to 5:30 wake up guy....regardless of anything. It knew that I needed some more sleep and took care of it for me.

HappyUP!!! - though I woke up late....I still made it to breakfast
Why it happened - I have an open invitation for breakfast on Saturday mornings
Why it made me happy - breakfast conversation with my best friend and his family is always I got an invitation to a bbq tomorrow out of the deal.

HappyUP!!! - gardening
Why it happened - I have a garden
Why it made me happy - harvested some zucchini....and some eight ball squash...and a bell pepper....and it is still MAY! The veges are coming early this year. While I haven't been at this forever, I have a feeling that this means a longer growing season and more yield. I have some tomatoes that are pretty big enough....they just have to start turning color. Usually, it's July or August before any tomatoes are in....especially those beefsteaks!


(A special post for my friends over at SundayScribblings)

"I don't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity. I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the other side of complexity"

The above is a paraphrase from someone whose name escapes me at the moment. If I get the motivation to get it all perfect, I'll come back and fix it. In the meantime, you get the idea. This quote has been something that I have gotten for a long time. I think it has to do with life as well. Life is pretty simple for me these days.

Back when I was a construction worker fresh out of college, I had a dresser of clothes, rent was $75 a month, and I slept on a couch. All I had was a couple of guitars, some golf clubs, a nice bike, and a truck. That was some simple living. I changed careers. 21 years ago, I entered the mortgage industry. Life remained simple...and a struggle.

The practice started to grow. A marriage ensued. Money started coming in. A condominium was purchased. It was outgrown. Then it was sold. The mortgage practice continued to grow. A modest home was purchased. Life was becoming more complex but not as complex as some make it. A divorce ensued. I was back to just myself. 11 years after the divorce, it is still just me. I sold the house. I moved into my parent's old the old neighborhood that I grew up in....that hasn't changed a bit.

I never made my life ultra complex as I see others do. I am not saying anyone is right or wrong. I started to get a taste of complexity. I watched other's struggle with it. I saw some struggles with it myself. Have I arrived at the simplicity on the other side of complexity or did I ever travel over Complexity Mountain myself? It's debatable, I suppose, but it is a debate that doesn't interest me much at this point.

Friday, May 25, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 118

HappyUP!!! - spending time caring for Dad
Why it happened - the caretakers (my sibling and wife) went out of town
Why it made me happy - I won't ever be able to do as much as my parents did for me because of the limited time span dad has. Also, it wouldn't be appropriate because they were preparing me for the long haul of life. Yet, as I do anything at this point, it does give a feeling of the returning to and giving to the circle of life. It will get harder as we get farther down the line. We'll get more outside help but we will continue to contribute.

HappyUP!!! - nodding off on the couch
Why it happened - I was snoozing at my brother''s until they got home late last night
Why it made me happy - I don't know. Sleeping in a strange place where you feel safe? It was just a cool thing to do.

HappyUP!!! - a couple of good meetings
Why it happened - they needed to's what we do in business....we meet
Why it made me happy - we got some things done

Thursday, May 24, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 117

HappyUP!!! - found out heartwarming news
Why it happened - I ran into the sister of a girlfriend I had 25 years ago
Why it made me happy - I found out my ex-girlfriend was doing well. She's been married for 15 yrs. She has two boys that are 10 and 8. When we split up, she was in her early twenties. She was the oldest of 4 from a broken home. Somehow, she managed to go back to college (something I had hoped she would do) and is now a special education teacher. She was a waitress just trying to get by...and take care of siblings and a mother with a severe mental disease. The cards were stacked against her. She overcame those things. It warmed my heart beyond belief to hear that someone that was so nice (she was "the one that got away") accomplish these achievements. There are some special ed students who are being touched by a real angel.

HappyUP!!! - I get to take care of Dad tomorrow night
Why it happened - my sis in law called and said they will be out tomorrow night
Why it made me happy - my dad stays with my bro and sis in law. I want to help but they do it all because they are there when he gets up and goes to bed. Tonight, I get "go to bed" training.

HappyUP!!! - a great meeting with an employee
Why it happened - an unfortunate situation occurred
Why it made me happy - we had a little air between us. I didn't like that. The incident was caused by someone else. It will help my employee and I get on the same page. I love this guy so that is important.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 116

HappyUP!!! - I had more energy today than I thought I would
Why it happened - I am not sure....lots of things to do?
Why it made me happy - I caught a brief bout of insomnia last evening. With a meeting with my boss, three interviews, and plenty to do, I was afraid that I would be zonked. Nope!

HappyUP!!! - three interviews
Why it happened - we are in growth mode
Why it made me happy - they were all good interviews. While we may not hire them all, we may. That's pretty good for three interviews.

HappyUP!!! - a good conversation late in the day
Why it happened - my boss called me back after hours
Why it made me happy - I was able to give him an excellent heads up that he needed...and he appreciated.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 115

HappyUP!!! - new member
Why it happened - it's Tuesday at Toastmasters
Why it makes me happy - our club is great....but it's small. New members bring new blood and new opportunities to positively impact someone's life

HappyUP!!! - golf at Winchester
Why it happened - we were a sponsor of a housing foundation golf tournament
Why it makes me happy - Winchester is THE BOMB when it comes to local golf. It is a tremendous course. I also got to play with a very good player. He let me use a demo driver.......and I loved it. Plus, I put an old swing tip to work. I may regain my skills yet.

HappyUP!!! - work BBQ
Why it happened - we are involved in a project at work.
Why it makes me happy - I got to spend some time with my boss, some of my biggest business partners, and some new team members..........and the beef was good too! It was just a nice time and I got to set up a breakfast with my boss tomorrow.


Monday, May 21, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 114

HappyUP!!! - Finished "For One More Day" by Mitch Albon
Why it happened - I picked it up yesterday. Read "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "Five People You Meet in Heaven" so I thought I would collect the whole set
Why it made me happy - it was a quick, light read. I didn't take many notes. It was a nice story line....getting to see your deceased mother for one more day and finding out the things that you didn't know she knew. I have a little of that hanging around in my life so the book resonated.

HappyUP!!! - Started a New Book, "Living the Truth"
Why it happened - I don't know. I just grabbed it
Why it made me happy - after reading how some psychologists say to ignore your past, it is interesting to read the "old school" Jungian "that which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate." This, of course, goes counter to New Age "Power of Now" Eckertt Tolle philosopy as well. I like to read it all. It is what helps make me tolerant. I am a moderate. You have a guy on the left and a guy on the right.....who is correct.
(that's not a question). John Lennon said it best, "whatever gets you through the night is alright."

HappyUP!!! - finding that I had my cell phone
Why it happened - it went off during a meeting
Why it made me happy - I thought I had grabbed my old, dead cell phone (which is identical to my new one in looks). The precluded a trip home with no phone to make calls on in the process. Yeah, it's a little thing but it was a big relief.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 113

Wow....what a day! Who could have thought that edging the lawn MANUALLY could be a HappyUP!!!? Not me.

HappyUP!!! - edging the lawn
Why it happened - it needed it as it is something I rarely do
Why it made me happy - it was a heck of a workout. I gravitate between weights and cardio and pilates...always looking for a good workout. (NOTE TO SELF: need to do more working out and less looking for a workout). Anyway, as I was using the medieval tool you see here, I was feeling some burning in the arms. The cardio factor was off the charts. Of course, it would probably be a lot easier if I did this regularly and not be cutting through a year's worth of dirt. Anyway, I edged the whole thing. When I started, I only thought that I would finish half of one run. Then, I realized how gorgeous the morning was. I was in the shade. I started thinking, "would I really enjoy a moment out on a boat that much more than the moment I was enjoying as the new trim line was becoming visible." I deduced that I really wouldn't.

HappyUP!!! - a golf tip
Why it happened - as I was recovering from the above, I flipped on the Golf Channel.
Why it made me happy - it was an old tip that I had forgotten about....and I think it was exactly what went wrong with some of my game at the Sunsetter Tournament. Ahhhh...Golf. You always think you have it figured out. It was a game invented by satan!

HappyUP!!! - taking care of pops
Why it happened - I stopped by to visit
Why it made me happy - the little chore that I had to perform would be deemed as most unpleasant by some. To me, it was pure love. My bro and sis-in-law had stepped out for dinner. Dad is always a panic button away from getting any of us. He doesn't need someone to be with him 24/7. Anyway, he had an issue shortly after they left and I was able to take care of it. It made me feel good.


Here I am
- out on a Friday night at a lovely venue. The tables are set nicely. The temperature is perfect. The sun is just starting to set behind the building so the blinding effect is about ready to go away.

It's twilight - and I am relaxing with a beautiful view of the pool.

I am not alone - many others are gathered to enjoy an evening of fellowship and dancing to an oldies band. There is enough of "the grape" to go around so that no one will be underserved.

And happens - "I've got a camera and I have to take your picture" guy shows up. Now, being the immensely popular fellow that I am, I have learned to handle this individual. Celebs really screw this up. There is a simple way to take care of it. And, take care of it you must. With the advent of digital cameras and no costs to process film, this guy is running rampant upon society today.

You merely - hold your camera up to your face until he gives up. As a matter of fact, he'll drop his camera, give you a smile and then move on because he'll have forgotten that he never got a shot off of your non-behind-the-lens-face.

Why does he behave so? - because he is dying for every table to day, "hey, you are taking all the pictures. Let me take one of you....hand me your camera." Yes, this ham will end up getting his picture taken with every table.

This person - is pretty much to be avoided but it just isn't possible to do it gracefully. Therefore, arm yourself friends. Don't step out into that jungle out there without your high speed shutter in hand.


Ah...yes...- on to one of my favorite topics in the whole wide

It was not too long ago - that one of my friends said, "Nutster, I am being honest with you. You really should have some kids. You would be an absolutely great father. You have so much to pass down and you enjoy doing that with all of your employees. You would be awesome."

Now, it just so happens - that this buddy has kids....4 of them all in. He has one, his wife has one, and they have two together. It also happens that this guy grew up wanting to have kids....lots of them.

Let me flash to a conversation that I had last night - and one that I have been hearing a lot. I ran into a guy that is a cursory friend. He is beyond an acquaintenance because of how long I have known him. He is a couple of years older than me but we went to the same grade school together.

He mentioned something about "busy with the kids" - and I asked how many he had. He said two a boy and a girl and that one was 16 and one was 13. Dance...sports...they were keeping him pretty busy.

"Do you have kids, Nutster?" - I replied that I didn't.

He said, "SMART!" - this is not the first time that I have received this response as of late. Not by a long shot. Now, I know that this guy is a great dad. He is probably as good as most can be. He's just a solid guy. I am sure that he loves his kids. I am sure that he would tell people that they were the greatest thing that happened in his life (maybe). But, why when given the chance does he say, "smart," when I simply answered his question?

Sure, it's kind of a funny quip - but there is something about humor that you have to think about. It does allow us to get away with telling what is really on our mind.....without others thinking that we mean it.

If you want to see studies - that will tell you that the dominant symptoms of the "empty nest syndrome" are smiling faces, I can point you to them. Seriously, it appears that the majority of people wouldn't do the kid thing again if they had "do overs" DESPITE what they will tell you or talked themselves into.

I was pregnant once - well, my wife-at-the-time was. When I first found out, it was not a HappyUP!!! day. Shortly thereafter, I got used to the idea. I talked myself into it. This was my new reality and I was going to make the best of it. I actually started looking forward to it. When the miscarriage happened, however, you didn't see me jumping back into reproduction mode. The fact is that, deep down, I probably didn't want to have I didn't.

Hey, to all of you parents who love your kids - keep it up. You brought those young ones into the world. I think it is a great thing. Just don't spread the "kid virus" to others, however, unless you really mean it like the person that I started this thread about. Just because you have the virus, doesn't mean that you should pass it on to everyone. I am not saying that I made the "right" decision to go childless and I am not telling you that you made the right decision to have kids. We each could be wrong.....

....let's all help each other with the decisions that we have made.

HappyUP!!!...It's Nice to know I am not alone

For as long as I can remember - I have been preaching that there is nothing I can buy today that will make me any more happy than I am right now.

I have found that most people - react to that sermon about the same way they react to the show they sit through in Sunday at the church..

They say - "boy, you are right about that. Never thought of it that way," and shortly after the new car pops up in the garage......which shortly after becomes the car.....then the old car....but still has the same payment as the NEW car...which requires working at a job that people would really rather be doing something else than go to.

So, when a talented cartoonist puts it all together - I know that I am not alone and that there are fellow preachers out there.

That's a HappyUP!!! - for me. The feeling of belonging. My stance doesn't make me "in" and it doesn't make me "popular." Sometimes, I even wonder if I have it all wrong and should just give in......fortunately that little storm blows over in about an evening.

Thanks to my friend, Alex , who I lifted this cartoon from. Throw his blog into your bookmarks. You'll always find something of Happy interest there.

HappyUP!!! Day 112

- golf is over
Why it happened - the tourney's last day was today
Why it makes me happy - four days of golf in a row was starting to push it for the kid. File it under that, "too much of a good thing," least for how much I play these days. It's like fasting for 40 days and then eating a piece of steak out of the chute. My partner and I just couldn't put it together and ended up finishing in the middle of the pack.

HappyUP!!! - my brother and his partner WON the tournament above
Why it happened - my brother was smart in taking a partner that wasn't his brother
Why it makes me happy - hey, I'm no sour grapes. I was just happy to be in contention a little bit last year. He had to have had a great time as they were grinding out every shot. He now has bragging rights for an entire year. He gets a little respect around his country club. It's actually far better for him. He and his partner were 188 to 1 longshots. My partner and I were a bit more popular going in.

HappyUP!!! - a real old time Barbeque
Why it happened - a buddy puts it on at his ranch every year
Why it makes me happy - I would never take the care that this guy does with his place. This place reeks of pride of ownership. I got to see some people that I haven't talked to in a long time. There were even more than a few pretty girls hanging around.....always a HappyUP!!! there.

Friday, May 18, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 111

HappyUP!!! - the hula girl

Why it happened - I am at the Sunsetter Golf Tournament and my partner owns his own cart with his special good luck charm

Why it makes me happy - because it is just so stupid! Stupid things are the best if you look at them as a source of happiness. You just have to appreciate them.

HappyUP!!! - the duck patrol

Why it happened - it's the way it happens

Why it makes me happy - it makes me happy to NOTICE these kinds of surroundings. C' I am at a macho men's invitational golf tournament. It takes some cojones to get out there and start snapping photos of "the cute lil duckies." Like I care what anyone thinks. The fact is you never get tired of seeing mama duck and the babies. The question is, "who is that bringing up the rear?"


...not when it is MY Ball!

......but wait............

HappyUP!!! - the ball is inbounds

Why it happened - a lucky bounce because, when it left the tee, it was heading out of bounds.

Why it made me happy - according to the rules of golf, you hit another ball from where you hit the ball that you just sent out of you add a stroke. So, even though this is THE WORST possible lie you can have, I was able to knock it sideways and then hit it again. This made me lying three strokes....far ahead of where I had been if I had to play the "provisional" ball that I hit off the tee. You hit a provisional ball when you think your first ball may be out..."just in case."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 110....FORE!

You have all been waiting with excitement - to find out how the Nutster did in Round 1 of ....the Sunsetter Golf Tourney. Let's see if we can tell the story while doing the HappyUP!!!s for the day.

HappyUP!!! - showing up on tourney day
Why it happened - today was the day...and I was there
Why it makes me happy - just look at the picture. A bunch of guys getting together to swing the sticks. The optimism is high. The BS factor is flying back and forth. The morning of the first day is a HappyTime...before you even move the ball of the peg for the first time.

HappyUP!!! - playing the first day with my brother
Why it happened - my brother's best friend invited me to be his partner
Why it makes me happy - my brother and I have decided not to be partners in this tournament. So, I play with his best friend. Now, whether by luck or because the pro shop wants my brother to play in the same foursome with his best friend, I got to play with the big bro today. Here is a shot of him as he gets ready to tee off this morning. Hmmm....I wonder how many beers Tiger Woods has to get ready for his first round of a major tournament.

HappyUP!!! - my partner
Why it happened - he invited me
Why it makes me happy - my partner is a really nice guy. That is all I can say. Plus, on a good day, he can get it around the course in some low numbers. He's always dangerous for that. AND...he seems to enjoy my company as a partner because he invited me...BACK... this year. Anyway, it is always good to play with Maxy! want to know - where does the powerful Nutster team stand against the field after day 1?

Ugggggh - it was not a pretty day. Yet, despite some poor play, we managed to be in 24th place out of 66 teams. We're 14 behind the first place team but they are way out front. I think the next team is only 10 in front. Maxy and I positioned ourselves nicely today despite the errant play.

Yep - it's not too late. Team 11 has it going on. Tomorrow, we should win the prize for daily low and put us within striking distance for the overall first place win after three rounds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 109

HappyUP!!! - 1/2 day at work
Why it happened - I had a meeting cancel yesterday so I scheduled it
Why it makes me happy - the anticipation of some much needed time off. I will be off the next two days as well. I have been working hard lately and just need some time away

HappyUP!!! - taking the 1/2 day and squeezing in some golf
Why it happened - I made a phone call
Why it makes me happy - I am starting to get my swing back. I didn't score that well but there are signs of things beginning to happen.

HappyUP!!! - one 5 iron shot
Why it happened - I took a chance...and made my day
Why it makes me happy - I hit a perfect drive on the hardest hole. I took the perfect club and absolutely striped it. The pin was tucked in a crazy place. It was almost impossible to hit it to this pin and I stuck it right there. NOBODY could have hit a better shot under the circumstances. Yes, there were other good shots today but this was the PERFECT shot. Perfectly struck and perfectly executed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 108

HappyUP!!! - Toastmasters
Why it happened - it was another great meeting
Why it makes me happy - one of the members gave a great talk. The Toastmaster ran the meeting well. The guest felt welcome. Just a great meeting.

HappyUP!!! - meeting with my boss
Why it happened - he was in town
Why it makes me happy - we got to talk about some business issues and more global issues. I got some new insights that help me take things forward.

HappyUP!!! - meeting with a subordinate
Why it happened - meetings happen
Why it makes me happy - he has some good things going on. He is getting a better understanding of what needs to get done. We can get it done.

Monday, May 14, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 107

HappyUP!!! - Fast meeting
Why it happened - a key person wasn't there
Why it made me happy - hey, who wouldn't be happy with a free 45 minutes

HappyUP!!! - my dad's visitor
Why it happened - an old friend stopped by
Why it made me happy - it's really good that he sees people that he used to work with. He worked at the same place for 40 years. A lot of his peers have passed on. It's good that he can still have connectivity to his old buddies.

HappyUP!!! - a grapefruit
Why it happened - I bought some yesterday
Why it made me happy - I have not been a big g-fruit eater during my life. There are few things better than the juice as it comes out of a g-fruit that you have had in the fridge....delicious.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 106

Let the real grinding begin - right in the "the throw up zone." Wow! There were some ugly looking swings going on out there today. Call a medic!

150 balls spuds smacked - at the driving range today. I haven't hit that many when I wasn't at some golf school since back in my playing days.

Even have a couple - of HappyUP!!! blisters to show for it. Yes, pain is good!

HappyUP!!! - the driving range
Why it happened - I decided to get a little serious about this week's golf tournament
Why it made me happy - I did some good work. I didn't strike it as pure as I liked but it wasn't bad. I started to remember a few things. I have probably forgot more about golf than many people have learned. It really is Satan's game. But....I am getting excited about this week's tournament

HappyUP!!! - no more scratches
Why it happened - I had an idea
Why it makes me happy - you can go back a few posts and read about my new floor. I'm not sure if I also posted about the brain fade I have where I drug a file cabinet all the way across a room and scratched it. I just said, "not going to worry about....I don't care if it costs me a thousand bucks, NO STUPID MARKS allowed! Normal wear and tear is fine but NO STUPID MARKS." Today, I bought a felt tip pen that kind of matched the floor, did some coloring in, and rubbing.....voila! You can hardly tell. Hey, with that $1000 bucks, maybe I'll get some new golf clubs!.....

.....or win the tournament this week and make enough to buy some there! Gotta think HappyUP!!! positive thoughts!

HappyUP!!! - a great day for errands
Why it happened - I just said, "hit it."
Why it makes me happy - I picked up a lot of things that I needed...all in one quick run...which is what I dig! Efficiency. The stores I went to were the right ones and they all had what I needed....all weekend long.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 105

HappyUP!!! - the day's start
Why it happened - I was just being free
Why it made me happy - I wasn't concerned with what I "should" be doing. I was just "doing" and even the mundane was superior. This is everything in the previous post.

HappyUP!!! - picking up the clothes
Why it happened - my clothes guy, Oley, called me
Why it made me happy - I didn't have to do this during the week. I was able to knock this off during the errands run so it was right on my way.

HappyUP!!! - more chipping tonight
Why it happened - just made myself do it
Why it made me happy - I know this practice is going to pay off and propel me to better scores later next week in that golf tournament. Just getting the club into the hands breeds more confidence which will carry over to the rest of my game.

HappyUP!!! Day progress

Oh my goodness! - can you believe it? Another first here in the's a midday progress report!

So, far, there are a lot of HappyUP!!!s in the running - a touch of insomnia began the day. What was the HappyUP!!! about that? It was Friday night! No stress about it being a tough day at work. I got some things off my mind and into the computer. That helped and was another HappyUP!!!

Slept until almost 8 a.m. - that is unheard of. Considering the sleep interruption, the body regulated...excellent!

Went to breakfast with friends who are like family - came home and did some guitar playing and singing. I went out and tended to those vegetables. A plethora of HappyUP!!!s there. The zucchini are taking form. Cucumbers are showing. An entire bell pepper has grown in one week. How does that happen??? It is the funniest thing.

...and the tomatoes - look out...they are everywhere!

Came back into the house - noodled on the guitar and did some worship....good for the soul.

Oranges - I can't believe that my orange tree still has some oranges on new ones are starting to take shape. I need to record this. I was getting oranges in's May! I cut open a couple of them and sucked out that sweet nectar. Who the heck needs the sugary crap in artificially in our foods?

Chipping - I even got some golf practice in...big tournament next week! I can't wait.

Mowing the lawn - I love cutting my grass. I really do. Sure, I could pay someone but I actually like to mow my yard......and then...

...water right afterward - it's just nice.

I turned some dirt - and turned weeds back to beautiful earth.

What a day - and it is only 1 o'clock.

Life - for me, it's a blessing that I forget to enjoy as much as I should. How about you? JOY is all around you disguised in the mundane. will find what you are looking for.

No Second Chance

(A special post for the good folks over at SundayScribblings)

Wishes of second chances
Product of regret
why nourish a plant
that produces such bitter fruit

Mistakes get made
but nothing aggregious ever should
if something so important
Mindlessness self absorption fertilizes

Why look back
For reason but to learn
Why do over
when you can start again

Regret serves no purpose
Peel and eat that fruit if you want
I will be planting again
as a wiser gardener

Friday, May 11, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day104....

HappyUP!!! - miraculously got a transaction done today
Why it happened - some phenomenol people behind the scenes
Why it makes me happy - it could have been a real nightmare instead of just a bad dream. No, I would hate this situation to be part of my daily diet but it was so much better than it could have been

HappyUP!!! - a visit from a long lost cousing
Why it happened - my cousin and her husband were in town
Why it makes me happy - she is probably 15 yrs my senior. There was age and geography between myself and her. We have only had the briefest of visits and they are years apart. One of those years came up...and today was the day. I enjoyed visiting with her husband too!

HappyUP!!! - the new security code box at work
Why it happened - the old one was a pain
Why it makes me happy - this isn't any huge deal. HappyUP!!!s don't have to be...that is the point. This one is so simple to use. There is less electronics so there should be less to go wrong. With the old one, it could be raining, standing at the back door, punching in the code, the door not work, and then you go around the building. Time will tell if this is an improvement but in the first instant I used it today, I said, "hey, this is nice!"
Yes.....a small thing. Savor the small things.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 103...the colonel is home

HappyUP!!! - we got dad home and he is somewhat ambulatory
Why it happened - he got his release from the VA hospital
Why it makes me happy - I stated a lot of them yesterday as to why this would be a good thing if it happened. The bonus was that he is much more ambulatory today than he has been over the last few weeks. This will aid my brother, sister-in-law, and myself in taking care of him. We may even be able to take him to a few places a little easier.

HappyUP!!! - my branch manager meeting
Why it happened - it happens every month
Why it makes me happy - we did a short meeting and got done pretty much what I wanted to accomplish from the meeting.

HappyUP!!! - had an employee do something that showed initiative
Why it happened - he was motivated
Why it made me happy - I didn't see this one coming! It shows some life that I knew was there but hadn't seen in a bit.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Angeliqu Kidjo release

Looking to take a chance? - and add some African music flavor to your CD collection? Angelique Kidjo's new release, Djin Djin, would be a great place to start.

If you aren't familiar with her music - are any of these names familar? Carlos Santana? Alicia Keys? Josh Groban? Ziggy Marley? You don't get that kind of talent playing on your CD because they need the money. They wanted to be part of this.

I can't tell you - that you are going to love it. If you aren't used to or open to this kind of sound, you probably won't. I can't call it an acquired taste, however, because this CD is very accessible. more artist graces the project - Peter Gabriel. His vocals turn the simple lyric, "there's no joy like the joy of the sun coming in," into pure magic.

You can get a taste of the Peter Gabriel track on the entry to her website

Check it out - if I led you astray, let me know.

HappyUP!!! Day 102

HappyUP!!! - Dad's one step closer to home
Why it happened - we had an appointment with the oncologist
Why it makes me happy - OK...I am going to be stark honest here. While it is a labor of love and I would continue going as long as it would take, driving to Martinez 3-4 times a week is a pain! The reason is justified which makes it an easy drive but I would like to be spending those hours with or helping my dad and not just driving. Now, on the larger sense, we want him home so we can see how we do with taking care of him.

HappyUP!!! - got my budget/goal reduced at work by 20%
Why it happened - I let my feelings be known
Why it makes me happy - it's a start. In another day, I would have focused on the fact that my budget/goal was overinflated when delivered to me (and I would be correct), I am going to be happy that it is now at a manageable level. I will also use this to come up with a more correct budgeting process in the future.

HappyUP!!! - new shirts
Why it happened - I saw one of my clients
Why it makes me happy - I went to the client. I loved his shirt. I said, "you got that down the street, didn't you?" He said he did and I said, "well, I am going shopping after I see you rather than get parked in rush hour traffic." I guess I should say "new shirts." While there aren't a lot of material things that make me happy, you have to buy some new work clothes once in awhile. Trust me, when I retire, it is going to be cheapo shorts and semi-slob wear. I am not out to impress anyone on the weekend. At work and in the position, I have some constituents and responsibilites that override my personal preference for attire. New clothes always make me feel good at work.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 101

HappyUP!!! - errands afternoon
Why it happened - I took the last three hours off
Why it made me happy - I bought about 5 dress shirts, 4 casual shirts, and 4 pair of slacks for work...all in about 30 minutes. On to the post office.....went like a charm (that isn't the case at the Post Office usually), handled a by phone order easily (internet wasn't working for the vendor), and a great trip to the dry cleaner. My alterations and dry cleaning will be ready early next week....PERFECT! all this done in time for....

HappyUP!!!2 - GOLF
Why it happened - I made a call and got invited
Why it made me happy - I have to play in an invitational next week. My partner who invited me in the big money game invited me out today for a practice round. I haven't played all year....but managed to scrape it around in 80. I used to be a lot better than that but it's now been about 5 years since I broke 80 so I have to consider that a good score in the modern day. My backyard chipping practice really helped today. And, I won some money. AND, I beat my brother by 5 shots! Now, back in the day, that wouldn't be a big deal but he has had a habit of beating me lately.

HappyUP!!! - gave my speech
Why it happened - it was Toastmasters Tuesday
Why it made me happy - I gave a great speech with very little preperation. I need to develop the topic a bit more but the test run was a big thumbs UP!

Monday, May 07, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 100!....Strike Up the Band!

No! No! No! - strike that strike up the band request. I rarely get headaches but I have had one all day! No cymbals tonight...

...but hey - you didn't come here to have me relate about my I didn't wake up when the alarm clock went off which put me I got delayed in another town...and how my presentation didn't go well.

Yep....they all happened - to me on the historic 100 day.

So what - you can go anywhere to hear about this stuff that happens all the time. How about....

HappyUP!!! - drive to and back from that other town
Why it happened - that is where the meeting was
Why it made me happy - got to spend some quality time with one of my employee's and good friend. We got to talk about some real stuff

HappyUP!!! - my fill in admin
Why it happened - he is more thoughtful than me
Why it made me happy - he covered me for the birthday of another staff member that is going to occur tomorrow. No, I won't have to hide behind my, "I'm too busy...I'm the boss," tomorrow. He covered me on his lunch hour. Excellent

HappyUP!!! - phone message from a friend
Why it happened - he returned my call
Why it made me happy - he is back from his travels. We missed hooking up yesterday when I was near his place in another town. I thought it strange that he hadn't called back....didn't take it personally. It was just unfortunate. I found out why today and it ended up being just what it big deal. I think back to how I may have reacted in my youth, "how rude," "his loss," or "screw him." None of those crossed my mind. It's a good thing, too, because they all would have been unwarranted. Hmmmmm.....are you taking anything personally these days that you shouldn't?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 99

We sit on the precipice - of something that we may be living in for most of the next three years....triple digit HappyUP!!!s

Nahhhhh - surely, I can't do this to 1000....can I?

Well - what better do I have to do?

Before you say - "get a life," re-read the above. What BETTER do I have to do than spend a few minutes every weekend reliving the highlights of the day......and inspiring myself to CREATE more HappyUP!!!s for me and those around me tomorrow.

Hmmmm - .....these HappyUP!!!s may just have something to them.

HappyUP!!! - jumping out of bed
Why it happened - believe it or not, I made the decision before I went to bed. I even wrote it on a note card to remind myself when I woke up.........I never saw the note
Why it made me happy - I got some things done as soon as I popped out of bed. Nope...didn't get everything done today but made some gains

HappyUP!!! - painted the fireplace
Why it happened - I just said, "I need to do that."
Why it made me happy - it wasn't that hard....not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I have done some painting in my lifetime but never brick. Fortunately, it had been painted white before. The overcoat was a lot easier for me than for the first person.... I guarantee that. Now, I am ready for the granite hearth!

HappyUP!!! - visiting Dad
Why it happened - I made the drive to Martinez
Why it made me happy - he is doing so much better. The morphine they had him on was unnecessary. Sure, he has a terminal illness now. At least we'll get some time with him being normal....well, as normal as my dad can be! LOL. Hey, if he wasn't not normal.....I probably would be! We played some blackjack. We hadn't played any cards since.....well....uh....probably since he used to kick my butt when I was a kid. Well, it's payback time! ....and in a nice way. I think he liked me beating him out of 14 hands...enough to be back to get even next time! However long I have with him, it's going to be as happy as possible!

HappyUP!!!....Nutsterin around

I had been meaning - to make a reference to McNair Wilson's post a couple of weeks ago. This is when Kurt Vonnegut had passed away. Personally, Vonnegut is a difficult read for me. He does have some interesting philosophy and is highly quotable:

(Talking about when he tells his wife he's going out to buy an envelope)

"Oh, she says well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore."

I get this - I so get this. I love to go out and just be. I go to the bookstore. I spend more than if I could have got it on line. But, I get to experience life. There is no life in a computer. As Vonnegut says, there is no dancing

Formal dancing? - not my cup of tea either. I do like my own version. It's dancing as I go. I call it "NutsterinAround". I have for years. It used to even be on my answering machine (NOTE to Self: go change the new answering machine to the old message). Of course, I would NEVER THINK to put such a thing on my vc mail at work, would I? Big Brother doesn't like Nutsterin Around.

Oh...I more than thought about it - years ago, I actually did. Then, someone complains about an unrelated issue. Even though you did nothing wrong, because it doesn't appear that you handle things seriously, you actually must have been the guilty party here.

So - the vc mail gets changed. The behavior falls in line. The creative spirit is snuffed again.

CBS is getting a taste of this - they signed Don Imus up to fart around. They wanted him to fart around. Deep down and left to their own devices, people like people who fart around. Then, the wrong people complain about the wrong fart. CBS acts like they don't condone farting around even though they signed a contract paying Imus to fart around.

....and CBS will pay for this little piece of hypocrisy - is my guess. The farter will end up winning. That day will be a HappyUP!!! for me.

Gotta run - it appears there is a phone machine waiting for me to do something. Then, I am off to go Nutsterin Around.

PS - if you aren't dancin as you go, you can't go out to dance formally at a ball or nightclub. It was a new law that went in the book last year. Get out there and shake your moneymaker TODAY....when the music exists only in your head.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 98

Two days! TWO days!! TWO DAYS!!! - are you getting excited out there? Are you making plans for your parties across the globe? I can see it now. People all getting together and trading their HappyUP!!!'s from the day. Talk about a HappyHour!

Let's not get ahead of ourselves - we still have a couple of days to go. We have some HappyUP!!!s to cover.

HappyUP!!! - holding up a garbage can
Why it happened - chatting with a friend after breakfast
Why it makes me happy - good chatting. When one is holding up a garbage can, the level of coherency is usually in question. We were clear as a bell.

HappyUP!!! - chipping
Why it happened - I stepped outside late to get a little practice in
Why it makes me happy - I am getting some feel back into my short game for golf. Well, at least in practice. I have to play in an invitational of a friend's in a couple of weeks. I don't play much anymore and I want to do well for my friend. It's a big deal at his club.

HappyUP!!! - the drain unclogged
Why it happened - I got out the plumber's helper
Why it made me happy - I had tossed some drain cleaner into the kitchen sink. The plumber was next. Then, all of a sudden, I said, "hey, what about Mr Plungeee?" That was easy. Mr Plungee....he's not just for toilets anymore.

HappyUP!!! - Oceans

(A special guest post for the folks at SundayScribblings written in the HappyUP!!! style that you are accustomed to. Remember...only a couple of more days until we reach Day 100)

HappyUP!!! - oceans

Why it happened - I have been to the ocean. It is hard to say many times but I can't say few either. They are relative terms. I have not gone enough. I haven't gone so much that it is second nature. Every time I go it thrills me.

Why it makes me happy - there is usually a breeze and a coolness where I go. It is also stark and craggy as opposed to the beautiful beaches that I vacation too. I love the place where land meets sea. The sea itself? I have been on a couple of cruises but that is just a hotel on water. I am sure it is nothing like being in a smaller craft. While I am sure that could thrill some, it holds no wanderlust for me. The waves make me happy. My uncle, who lives by the ocean, once said, "I go down there everyday. It is never the same to me from one day to the next." If it is that way to him considering his constant visits, it is not even close to being the same when I go. Perhaps that is the attraction.

When I think of the ocean, I think of life. It is sometimes calm and sometimes tumultuous. It is water and water is life. I can never compete with the depths of the ocean. It's breadth is similarly beyond comprehension. The ocean is a mystery. I look forward to the next time I step into it.

Friday, May 04, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 97

HappyUP!!! - driving to work
Why it happened - I go to work...but I was in the present today
Why it made me happy - I was at a stoplight. Just waiting. Getting ready to cross the track. I thought about HappyUP!!! I looked around for something special...something really great. Now, I was at the train tracks. There really wasn't that much outstanding about that setting. Then, it hit me. It was all outstanding. I was noticing life around me....and it made me happy.

HappyUP!!! - a funny exchange at work
Why it happened - a guy thought he was funny and threw out a funny crack
Why it made me happy - never feed me a line like that. As quick as a whip, I came back with a topper that brought down the house. We all had a deep belly start the work day.

HappyUP!!! - noodling on the keyboard
Why it happened - I bought a keyboard last year. Who knows...someday I may even consider lessons. Until then, I have figured out a few chords and can play the rhythm of a song or two. Tonight, it just made me feel good to noodle along.....and sing a few bars.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 96

HappyUP!!! - an anniversary
Why it happened - a decision was made 4 yrs ago
Why it makes me happy - some things just do. They need no explanation. I know why. This one makes me ecstatic!

HappyUP!!! - solved a problem
Why it happened - the other people couldn't
Why it makes me happy - diplomacy....wisdom....experience. I brought some different people together and fixed something that had gotten bogged down. It only took one e-mail once I recognized the issue. My clients are going to get the benefits they should. My employee will go on vacation knowing an issue was fixed.

HappyUP!!! - met some old faces
Why it happened - an employee set up a meeting
Why it makes me happy - it is nice to see that they are doing well...very well. They were smart guys that have figured out a service that is valuable.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 95

(New here? Find out what this HappyUP stuff is all about by clicking the link)

HappyUP!!! - good conversation
Why it happened - just having a weekly coffee
Why it makes me happy - it's good to share thoughts with a friend...especially when they are the thoughts that aren't necessarily shared by culture. Sounding boards...they make me happy.

HappyUP!!! - meetings with employees
Why it happened - changes mean communication
Why it makes me happy - sometimes the communication isn't easy...but it needs to happen if things are going to change.

HappyUP!!! - meetings with clients
Why it happened - you do that in business
Why it makes me happy - it's great to hear from a client that your employee is doing such a great job....and I mean really hear it. Who do I need to tell they are doing a good job?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 94.....the countdown begins

The countdown to triple digits - that's right. 100 HappyUP!!! days in a row is less than one week away. Think about that. The HappyUP!!! exercise has a lot of self-fulfilling prophecy to it. Here is one that you can clearly see.....

Next Monday night - will be the century mark. I get to live through the next 6 days looking forward to that. I wonder if there is going to be a big fireworks show! Maybe I should throw a party. It sounds like a better idea than Cinco de Mayo.

You could do the same thing - and celebrate at 10, 25, 37, 49...etc. You make your own rules about what makes you happy. Once again, I have gone to the rulebook. You don't have to celebrate only numbers that end in zeros and fives. Really. The rule IS NOT THERE.

Let's live it up - and happy it up.

HappyUP!!! - Toastmasters
Why it happened - every Tuesday
Why it made me happy - we had one of the best meetings in my 20 years of going....and there were only four of us there. An "ideal" meeting according to Toastmasters International says that 12-15 is the number. We got in 2 speeches, 2 evaluations, and 3 table topics....and it was all quality.

HappyUP!!! - no traffic
Why it happened - I was smart....and lucky
Why it made me happy - I made the after work trip to Martinez. This is in the Bay Area. This is the same bay area that proved that we don't need to worry about terrorists....we can do a good enough job of blowing up bridges all by ourselves. In case you hadn't heard, a tanker truck full of gas overturned the other night on the cloverleaf right by the Bay Bridge. Two major arteries of this well traveled freeway system got torched. The can screw up all the surrounding freeways. I got down to Martinez and left Martinez with no, there was a plane that crashed on one of the other freeways that I needed to use to boot. Do you know how easy it would be to just shrug off the lack of traffic as no big deal? Real easy. You do it every day. For me, it was a every HappyUP!!! should be.

HappyUP!!! - my new admin answered a question for me.....exactly how I would have
Why it happened - I really don't know
Why it made me happy - he's getting it. Yes, there is a loss with my regular admin out on maternity leave but I know that we will get through it.