Tuesday, July 31, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 186

HappyUP!!! - Downtown Tuesday Night
Why it happened - it's every Tuesday night in the summer
Why it made me happy - I finally went down there after not having been in a few years. At least I earned the right to say, "I haven't missed much!"

<-------Why on earth do people do this to old trucks/cars? I don't get "car people." There must have been 100 cars on display. I am not talking gleaming either. Just old. These "car people" go show to show, park their cars on hot pavement, pull up a lawn chair, and sweat. Hey, to each his own....I don't get it! (and I get a lot of stuff)

HappyUP!!! - my car
Why it happened - I was able to avoid an accident, be courteous, and stay cool
Why it made me happy - a guy in a big construction type truck made a last...and I mean very last...minute decision to use the off ramp of the freeway. I had been following him in the right lane. I pulled off into the exit lane....he didn't. At the very last moment, he came over, saw me, kind of went back on the freeway, realized he was going to have to go to the next exit and turn the big rig around, and then came back off the freeway. Unlike a lot of drivers, when he made the first pull over in front of me (before he double clutched), I hit the Carrera brakes aggressively. The car behaved pefectly. At that point, I laid back and practically begged him (in a nice way) to , "come on, man, take it. I'm helping you out." So, when I got to the stop sign and was next to him, I was feeling like one nice guy which put me in a good mood. Another choice would have been to take the, "you are a flippin idiot" route and elevate my blood pressure. I have to admit it...I, and my car, behaved awesomely.

HappyUP!!! - lunch
Why it happened - my friend/client and I made it happen
Why it made me happy - we talk on the phone and exchange e-mails but we hadn't seen each other in a year. We met at Lemon Grass in Sacramento for some super tasty Thai food. I had heard of this restaurant but hadn't ever had a chance to eat there. The company and the cuisine were superb. Friendship deepened...palates satiated....that's a Number 1 HappyUP!!! combo anyday

Monday, July 30, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 185

HappyUP!!! - an unexpected conference call
Why it happened - a call this hasty and with the group invited usually means BAD NEWS
Why it made me happy - it was only medium news and requires work for my peers.....but NONE for me!

HappyUP!!! - Scott Baio is 45 and Single
Why it happened - I was at my brother's and I asked him to find out what time it was on tonight so I could get home for it
Why it made me happy - episode two was playing when we looked for the show...then episode three....bringing us right up to the show I hadn't seen episode four. My brother got a kick out of what I have to admit is a pretty stupid show if you try to explain it to someone. So, we were just hanging out, catching tube, and laughing because Scott Baio is just being a guy.

HappyUP!!! - tomatoes to a friend
Why it happened - I harvested yesterday
Why it made me happy - he digs tomatoes. I didn't get to do my anonymous drop because he was hanging outside. He showed me all the work that he had done in his yard.......and I can see why he wanted me to see it. If I had busted my you-know-what to get it in that kind of shape, I would want someone to see it too! The other thing that made me happy is that he asked for a letter of reference for a job interview. If you understood the entire situation, you would know why it is a HappyUP!!! It's an honor.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

In France.....it's all about the Maillot jaune

...or the yellow jersey - but I am in Roseville.

The coveted prize here - are the green pants!

Now, I don't know how you say green pants in French - and I don't really care because I am in Roseville! California! USA! The pants don't need to speak French

The amazing thing - is that the green pants have been in my closet for over 2o years.....and still fitting like the day they came home from the store.....

...well - if the guy that had originally bought them weighed about 30 pounds more!

Hey! Hey! Hey! - the important thing is that I got them off, rode with them, and no appendages had to be amputated due to a lack of circulation. Now, whether or not I will still be able to produce children may be in question but....hey....I still got them on!

HappyUP!!! Day 184

HappyUP!!! - the tomato sink
Why it happened - it's a couple of time a week occurrence around here during harvest season
Why it makes me happy - I don't know. Is it a seeing the fruits of one's labor so literally that brings me joy? I till, I plant, I grow, I pick, I wash.....and then I have almost 100% more tom toms than I need. Actually, there is another step to the process......I drive. I will be making drop and go's anonymously today.

HappyUP!!! - the Carerra Cat
Why it happened - who knows what gets into Shadows head.
Why it makes me happy - I came out and saw Shadow

perfectly perched in the classic cat sitting position right in the center of my car. Now, for a second, I turned into "car guy" in my brain....you know....the one who thinks a car is something a bit more than what gets you from here to there and treats it better than his children. That guy isn't me. After that quick flash of wanting to toss the cat passed, I just started cracking up. Here Shadow has the ENTIRE world to choose in which to sit and she chooses right in the middle of the top of the car. She looked like an old time police light on top of the car....only black. Unfortunately, as I rushed back in to get the camera and set up for the shot, her nirvana was obviously upset. She had gotten her point across as to who the queen was. She now felt it was time for her massage from the photographer. Is this where the term p---y whipped came from?

HappyUP!!! - my little Fender Amp
Why it happened - I asked the guy at the counter if he had a good small amplifier.
Why it makes me happy - I was really talking about something a bit more substantial than this one. I have an amp that I can't get everything out of because I would have the neighbors fleeing for a neighboring state if I turned it up enough to drive it. When the clerk brought me this cute little $30 battery operated item, I said, "Cute! What is that gonna do?" But, I bought it anyway. Now, I can make awful noises anywhere in the house without too much clutter. I can even throw it in the car should I want to go irritate my friends!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 183

HappyUP!!! - grilled hot dogs
Why it happened - I was hungry
Why it made me happy - you can bbq them, boil them, steam them, or nuke them. I think the best way for a dog is flat grilled split over the stove. No buns needed. A little cheese and a little secret sauce with veges fresh out of the garden.

HappyUP!!! - Godfather Marathon
Why it happened - it was hot and I stayed close to home
Why it made me happy - I saw The Godfather at the theaters as a young lad. I don't ever think that I saw G-father2 and 3. I may have caught pieces. I'm all caught up on my Italian......capice? (Now, whether I can spell it or not is another story). Anyway, I feel like I now know something that everyone else does. Maybe I'll watch the Star Wars movies soon.

HappyUP!!! - coffee with the family
Why it happened - it's that Saturday thing
Why it made me happy - I met my best friend and his family for the usual Saturday breakfast. I ran a little late but they didn't care. I was catching the tour de France plus I wasn't hungry. It was some funny conversation and tomorrow, I'll be tomato delivery boy to the clan.

Friday, July 27, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 182

HappyUP!!! - an early morning breakfast invite....and breakfast!
Why it happened - a guy called me at 6:15
Why it made me happy - I like going to breakfast. I just do. I think I like going to breakfast more than going to lunch or dinner. Plus, we got our favorite waitress. Nice to have the help to harass.

HappyUP!!! - got someone into training at last minute
Why it happened - persistence
Why it made me happy - this is going to help an initiative going forward immensely.....outstanding. We caught a break

HappyUP!!!- phone call with a friend
Why it happened - I called him and he had time to kill
Why it made me happy - it was just so good to connect with this former client of mine that is going to become a client of one of my new employees. What a precious gift she is getting. The client and I had lost touch as I drifted into management. He is one of the nicest guys around. I have little doubt that this new connection is going to keep he and I together and take us into lifetime close friendship.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 181

HappyUP!!! - no rush
Why it happened - I woke up early...but had no appointments
Why it made me happy - I keep my own hours at work. If I start working at 8, that is late for me. I was working until 7 last night on a project. I woke up at 5 on my own today...fully rested. Rather than rush and prepare for work, I lounged a bit. I did some things around the house. I got to work around 9. It was a nice change to my routine.

HappyUP!!! - miracle worker
Why it happened - a new employee had a disaster
Why it made me happy - I showed up at a distant office just when an employee found out from the Help Desk that her computer would need to be swapped out....what a pain. I spent a few minutes, used some resourcefulness, got lucky, and the problem was fixed quickly. Talk about an excited employee! She was loving my office visit today!

HappyUP!!! - an excited new hire
Why it happened - she gave notice at her old job
Why it made me happy - I have very rarely had gratitude heaped upon me like I did with this message...very rarely. I don't think it is that people appreciate me. I think that I really get excited in using my skills and learnings to make people happy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 180....

HappyUP!!! - phone conversation with my best friend
Why it happened - I called him to go over the Tour de France scandal (we're fans)
Why it made me happy - we spent an hour going over a bunch of stuff. It's amazing how much new material we had to share. Especially considering how much we have talked lately.

HappyUP!!! - found out key information
Why it happened - I pressed a conversation
Why it made me happy - it wasn't good news but it was news I needed to have

HappyUP!!! - a delicious burger
Why it happened - I bbq'd
Why it made me happy - I didn't eat much today so I grilled up a couple of excellent patties...no buns. All I had was a little garlic salt for seasoning but they were especially tasted....must have been an excellent griller involved!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A God Thought

As the years have rolled by - I have done some spent some time contemplating this vast word "spirituality."

I have studied the Bible - to more detail than other religions. This study has not been through formal seminal training. To a scholar, it would not be considered true study. Compared to other forms, however, this is the one that I know the most about.

Some say God is all around us - but some contend that He is within us.

I don't doubt either - my take is that when He is around us, He is there to be seen. When He is within us, He is to be discovered.

If God is within us - it seems that it would be impossible to know God without knowing ourselves first.

How many people really know themselves? - I mean know themselves as who they are as opposed to who they think they are supposed to be or who they wish that they were.

A lot of people find God - when they hit rock bottom. Could the reason be that, in their rock bottomness, there is nothing of themselves left to see and only God is left?

What is in your way - of discovering God?

HappyUP!!! Day 179

HappyUP!!! - lookin good
Why it happened - a new T-shirt
Why it makes me happy - I can get away with a wide array of clothing choices whilst working in a fairly conservative industry and holding a position with a degree of prominence. The key is that I have to look nice. This lets me escape the dreaded tie every day. My new yellow t-shirt received yesterday went nicely with black slacks and a black/white with a hint of gold houndstooth jacket. Though I got no comments, I still think it worked magically.

HappyUP!!! - chat with an employee
Why it happened - one of my employees came into the office around 5:30.
Why it made me happy - I detected there was a need to talk about life in general a bit. No particular problems. Just a younger person looking for an outlook from someone that has been around a little longer. I see this as being more of my role as I get older. Mass marketing and mass culture has an agenda for a reason....and that reason may not work for the individual. The most powerful influence in a person's life is the person that they can have honest chats with.

HappyUP!!! - compliment on my work group's performance
Why it happened - someone was honestly looking for the key
Why it made me happy - "hey, Nutster, while I have you on the phone. Your group continually excels on this one initiative. Most of our groups struggle. What's the secret sauce?" This person is responsible for how my peers do. She honestly was looking for advice. While I can't say I had a magic pill, I did give her a little guidance.

Monday, July 23, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 178

HappyUP!!! - presenting an award
Why it happened - the award came in my name but really belonged to someone that worked for me
Why it made me happy - this person has plenty of dough but the award was a $250 gift card....first thing this morning, I get a big "suuuuhhhhweeeeeet," from my top employee. How good is that?

HappyUP!!! - an old friend's voice on my voice mail
Why it happened - a follow up to a text message
Why it made me happy - come on, you know how it is. You haven't heard from someone for awhile and then you hear their voice out of nowhere. It's just a momentary thing....easily forgotten....unless you are capturing it as a HappyUP!!! at day's end. You get to relive it before you head off to bed.

HappyUP!!! - a terrible problem easily solved
Why it happened - hey....I got lucky
Why it made me happy - I had forgotten to do something. It was going to negatively effect some compensation. Fortunately, my friends in payroll picked me up and let it slide so everyone gets paid on time. It's a HappyUP!!! to get lucky once in awhile.

Bonus HappyUP!!! - an incoming shipment
Why it happened - I ordered some clothes a while back
Why it made me happy - everything was in the package....it all works. Hey....a few new knockin around clothes show up on your doorstep. You just want to say, "yay!"

Sunday, July 22, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 177

HappyUP!!! - the British Open
Why it happened - it happens every year....right now
Why it made me happy - you dedicated readers know that I love the four major championships in golf. This one is over in Europe which means that I can watch golf at 6 in the morning our time and still have a productive day! Plus, this year's Open was fantastic! I love watching people at the top of their game with the ultimate pressure on the toughest courses grind it out.......fun things happen and judgement gets tested.

HappyUP!!! - meeting a colleague
Why it happened - there was a big event in town today
Why it made me happy - this guy has been a lot of help. He works back in the midwest. I had never met him. It's good to put a face with a name. We had a nice lunch. The event was successful as well.

HappyUP!!! - the cycle of food love
Why it happened - I gave someone else vegetables the other night
Why it made me happy - his wife liked the tom tom's and peppers. They are a Hispanic couple. I now have a Tupperware full of Chile Colorado sitting in my fridge waiting for me to munch tomorrow. Hey, I just give the veges because I have too much......and, as usual, good things come around when you give.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 176

HappyUP!!! - poker night
Why it happened - my investment guy put it together for some of his clients
Why it made me happy - I met some new people. Good, solid guys for the most part. I played a lot of cards in my teens. I have kind of let the Texas Hold em mania sweep over me as I kind of burned out on cards back then. Yet, it can be fun so it was a good time.

HappyUP!!! - winning at poker
Why it happened - a little bit of luck and hanging in ther
Why it made me happy - I really like getting things that I shouldn't have. If I play golf, I don't need that ball that is in the lake. I will still reach in and get it because it belongs (belonged) to someone else. Hey, no need to keep me out of your house......I'm not a kleptomaniac.

HappyUP!!! - Toastmaster's training
Why it happened - I am President of our club
Why it made me happy - I get to see a lot of people that I only see a few times a year
Breakfast -poker game -buddy's new car -winning cash -Toastmaster's training -Toastmaster's paperwork


"Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering"

Friday, July 20, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 175

HappyUP!!! - twenty bucks
Why it happened - I was the first guy to one of my offices
Why it made me happy - I was visiting a branch. The employees were late because I beat them there. As I parked where they should have, I got out of the car, looked down, and found a 20 spot! What a way to start the day! PLUS....it should have been found by one of my employees had they been there on time. It's good to be me.

HappyUP!!! - lunch
Why it happened - I was invited to a local lunch spot during my visit to the branch mentioned above.
Why it made me happy - it was Indian food. I am not a big curry fan but the restaraunt was owned by one of my employee's relatives...an uncle. I couldn't insult him and turn down the invite. I think he wanted me to meet his family.....and there were a bunch of them there. It was nice....and tasty! Plus, they brought me a dessert.....rous mallard?....or something like that. It was coconut puffs in coconut milk...I think. It was delicious and the people were nice. I didn't understand the Punjabi they were speaking but it was still a great lunch.

HappyUP!!! - excellent lease news
Why it happened - my lease guy is working a deal
Why it made me happy - if I pull this off, I save the company about $40,000.....and we get signage! Talk about a Win-Win!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 174 - a Funeral

HappyUP!!! - the funeral
Why it happened - my friend's father died
Why it made me happy - I wasn't the guy in the box!
(sure....that's s a funny joke. At the same time, I mean it!)

HappyUP!!! - seeing my friend's brother after 28 years
Why it happened - I was at a funeral
Why it made me happy - this was the older half brother of one of my best friends. He was quite the ladies man playboy type back in the day. We all marveled after his style. He is doing great now. He has a son that is engaged. He's living a good life but still has a bit of that wild thing in him.

HappyUP!!! - the lady in the short black dress
Why it happened - I guess she thought it was appropriate
Why it made me happy - she had the legs to pull it off! Sorry but, even though it was a somber occasion, one could not help noticing this leggy lass.....WOW!!! Hey, we paid our respects to our friend's departed father. Who says that it has to be a moratorium on not checking out the scenery. Even if such a moratorium was in place, there would have been NO WAY to avoid it. Happy that I didn't have to. That was one nice pair of legs....and we saw pretty much all of them.

Tomatoes -Funeral -Drive to Auburn -Working with new employee -Working with another new employee - Working with a manager -compliments on car -seeing friend's brother -helping my ailing father

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 173

HappyUP!!! - I put the cars inside
Why it happened - I got motivated and did the shuffle last night
Why it made me happy - you may remember that I washed all three of my vehicles last Sunday....a HappyUP!!! They hadn't found their way back into the garage. The truck was blocking that progress. So, I moved the truck out of the way, got the one car that goes against one wall of the garage in first, followed by the second. The truck stayed outside because that is where he lives. Why did this make me happy?

......it ended up raining....in July last night! It would have been just enough to make everything filthy again. I woke up to semi-wet streets but a big, "ahhhhhhhh," because I made the effort last night.

HappyUP!!! - vegetables to friends
Why it happened - I walked some of my bounty across the street and left it on the neighbor's front doorstep. I had a co-worker stop by for some tomatoes.
Why it made me happy - everyone loves fresh vegetables from the garden. They really love it when they are free!

HappyUP!!! - cake!
Why it happened - my neighbor did a vegetable reciprocation
Why it made me happy - I didn't expect anything when I quietly dropped off those vegetables. I dropped them off and then got in the car and ran an errand. When I came back, there was a delicious slice of REALLY THICK chocolate cake awaiting me on my front stoop!

Bonus HappyUP!!! - new books arrived
Why it happened - I ordered some on Amazon last week
Why it made me happy - I had kind of forgotten about ordering them. Now, it was kind of like Christmas!!! I have 5 new books to tackle.

Great training run through
Good meeting with my new team
Super interview
A very productive conference call
More tomatos
Giving away vegetables
Seeing a messy house
New Books arrived
Remembered to put the cars in

QuoteUP!!! 3....Eleanor Roosevelt on Fear

"Everyday do something that you are afraid to do"

-Eleanor Roosevelt

OK - this one may not be an exact quote. The accuracy is not that important. I know that it is in the zip code. What would happen to you if you ground this into you daily list. Do you know what you are afraid to do? You don't have to go jump out of an airplane though you certainly could. I read recently about a 65 year old woman who went to an artist an posed nude! Wow! That could be a big one...especially when, upon the completion of the drawing, the artist politely asked, "may I have the privilege of kissing your nipples?" A degree of caution may be required but, at the same time, too much caution can keep you in your state of ennui.

The fear can be much less - today, I am afraid to go run on the track. I am afraid of the burning sensation that is going to occur in my lungs. I am afraid that I won't beat my last time. I am afraid it is going to throw my day off with everything else that I could get done. Yet, I have a cogitation about setting a goal to run a 6 minute mile again. It is not a firm commitment yet. I need to overcome the fear above so I can feel a little better about setting the goal. If I fail to breakthrough today's fear, I will never set the goal.

What do you fear? - get out your journal. Keep track of what goes on in your mind. Avoiding something because "you don't feel like it" may actually have a fear at it's root. What is the cost of not addressing that it is a fear in the first place, staring the fear in it's face for what it is, and then overcoming it?

Adopting this one quote - into your daily life is something that make a quantum change.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 172

A lot to pick from today - that is for sure. ....and I wasn't even looking that hard. If you look everyday, it's amazing what you will find.

HappyUP!!! - seeing long lost friend and his significant other
Why it happened - they had some time to stop by before attending a dinner
Why it made me happy - they happen to be in town for a few days. I have already written about seeing him but I hadn't seen her in 25 years or more. Reacquainting is an awesome thing.

HappyUP!!! - touching base with another old friend
Why it happened - I let him know that our other old friend (see above) was in town.
Why it made me happy - it's always good to talk to this guy. He was another one of our gang in high school. Later on, he was one of my roommates. It's cool to have these contacts. While it would be nice to stay in touch more, the absence does make the heart grow fonder.

HappyUP!!! - outstanding lunch
Why it happened - we were offsite and we got hungry
Why it made me happy - one of the people we were with likes nice lunches. There were 3 guys and one gal. Any guess as to who the "nice lunch" person was? Anyway, we had a wonderful lunch and great conversation. On top of that, my crab melt was TO DIE for!

Great meeting
Outstanding lunch
Seeing friends
Helping Dad
Toastmaster's meeting

Monday, July 16, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 171

HappyUP!!! - a really funny comment
Why it happened - the guy running the meeting kind of shocks us with his humor once in awhile...today was one of those days
Why it makes me happy - this person doesn't do it all the time. When he lets a non-PC comment go, it is funny as heck and, to me, it's really not incorrect. I think the funny thing is that everyone else thinks that it is. He doesn't have to cow down, however. As said, it's his meeting! Refreshing

HappyUP!!! - free beef jerky
Why it happened - my best buddy had some samples from his work
Why it makes me happy - this is one of those, "C'mon, do I even have to explain," HappyUP!!!s. OK...here goes...1)it's free and 2) it's BEEF JERKY!

HappyUP!!! - a few moments with my long lost friend
Why it happened
- he's in town visiting
Why it makes me happy - while I would much prefer that he lived here, I wish everyone could experience having a deep down bestest of best friends (I don't care what spellcheck says..."bestest" is a word) that you don't see for twenty years and then, when you are reacquainted, it's like a day hasn't passed since you last saw each other. It's kind of weird......but in the bestest of ways.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 170

HappyUP!!! - a trio of washed cars before 8 a.m.
Why it happened - I made it happen
Why it made me happy - we had a little unexpected rainstorm this week. It left my three vehicles with "that look." The dirty rain look. I hopped on it this morning even though car washing isn't my favorite thing in the world.

HappyUP!!! - hitting the gym
Why it happened - it was time (see previous post)
Why it made me happy - I have been telling myself to go. Now, I have broken the ice. I always feel better AFTER going to the gym. Today was no exception. Now if I can just keep all those young hard bodied women away from me and interrupting my workout.

HappyUP!!! - Adam Sandler films
Why it happened - I had the TV going in the background at home today.
Why it made me happy - "Happy Gilmore" and "50 first dates"....what's not to like! Especially on a 100 degree Sacramento summer afternoon!


Weight - what a heavy topic. I am also amazed at how all the marketing people crawl inside of a person who struggles with this issue.

While not obese - I have a few pounds on that I really shouldn't. I know...welcome to the club. Well, actually, I have been a member of the club for some time.

When I was in my mid-twenties - about twenty something years ago, I was weighing in at about 140-145 pounds. Keep in mind, I am 5'7" so that is pretty lean.

I was also running - marathons and doing triathalons and working in construction everyday. I think that may have been a little too lean on the lean side.

Move forward a few years - about 10. It's now 1996 and I am weighing in at 165. My new desk career has been established for a decade. I go through a relationship situation and say, "geez, what a slob I have become." So, I hit the streets. Just walking this time as an injury curtailed my distance running.

Voila - I drop 5 pounds.....and the cycle begins. This was the first time that I ever felt I had to lose weight. I was about 38 at the time.

That lasts for a bit - but somehow I creep all the way up to 185 pounds....no one really says anything. While people could tell, I have the "blessing" of being able to hide weight gain. Some people's weight gain goes right to one place. My body spreads it around......but I know.

I decide to lift weights - so I do some dumb bells around the house and lose about 10 pounds in two months.

One problem - I DESPISE lifting weights. Guess what happens....yep...right back to 185

So, I make a lifestyle change a little over 4 years ago - cut some things out of my life....and start playing a little basketball. I think that I even drank more water. That was about it as far as I can remember.

A mere 8 months later - I am down to 155. I am thinking, "how could I ever let myself get that heavy? Life feels better. I feel better. My clothes fit better."

Then, a year and half ago - I am back to 175. "Geez, I am 10 pounds from the heaviest I was. What lifestyle change am I going to need to make this time?"

So, I do another thing I despise - I hit the gym. I did cardio religiously for a year. 45 minutes to an hour was my minimum workout. I got down to 165 pretty quickly. Then, I bounced around 165. I kept going to that gym. At the end of the year, I was at 172....a loss of three pounds.

The logical thing - I quit going to the gym. "Hey, I am not getting enough sleep because I am getting up too early to go to the gym. Sleep is medicine."

And now - with 6 months of solid "medicine" behind me, I am not at 172...or 175....but back to 180!

Uggggggh - I can't wait to see what I can come up with next as I make yet another run down the scale.

Life is good -but I won't kid you. This area bugs me. I sympathize with people that are struggling with this issue much worse than I am. It's nice to know that I have so much company but it's not quite nice enough.

It was a tough half hour! - but "every journey of 1000 miles starts with a first step" as one of those old Chinese wise guys once said.

"It just gets tougher to take it off as you get older" - is what I hear from just wise guys.

Oh well - the journey begins again!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 169 ...Long Lost Friend

HappyUP!!! - spent time with a close high school pal
Why it happened - he was back in town....and I got caught by surprise
Why it made me happy - this guy moved across the country shortly after college. He was one of the core people of our "gang" in high school. I had only seen him once in 25 years or so. I can't even begin to talk about the cutting up and genuine BUST YOUR GUT TIL IT HURTS laughter we experienced.

HappyUP!!! - (see HappyUP!!! above)

HappyUP!!! - (see HappyUP!!! above)

Yes....this is a first - c'mon....an old chum that I hadn't seen more than once in a quarter of a century? You think that I can even remember anything else due to this? It's a biggie!

But....for those of you who say I need to actually have three HappyUP!!!'s - you know, you people and the Queen's Rules...you know who you are

HappyUP!!! - it was a tomato fest today
Why it happened - the tomato plants are turning those fruit color
Why it made me happy - I just keep receiving so much more than I put into those plants. I can't believe it.

HappyUP!!! - breakfast
Why it happened - I needed to eat
Why it made me happy - I hadn't had any short stack and side of sausage from my favorite breakfast place in 2 weeks!

Friday, July 13, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 168

HappyUP!!! - Fore! An evening golf invitation
Why it happened - my brother called me
Why it made me happy - it was just nice to get out after a full work week. I even made a couple of birdies. Plus, my brother shot a career best round on his golf course. Kudos for him!

HappyUP!!! - unexpected support from the top
Why it happened - an angle was figured out
Why it made me happy - it's really going to help me lock down and move forward on a HUGE initiative.

HappyUP!!! - a good interview
Why it happened - one of my manager's did some recruiting
Why it made me happy - we just keep growing in a tough market. We are just picking up value piece by value piece at a time when the business climate is questionable. We are on the grow!


Good conference call
Another good conference call
Support financially from the top
A golf invitation
Picked up my printer
A solid interview

Thursday, July 12, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 167

HappyUP!!! - meeting with my managers
Why it happened - it happens almost every month...it's scheduled
Why it made me happy - lots of good information and dialogue shared. I saw some offers of cooperation that was beyond the norm....nice!

HappyUP!!! - great night's sleep
Why it happened - who knows
Why it made me happy - I just woke up particularly refreshed this morning. Much needed because I was a little late on the meeting preparation

HappyUP!!! - a delicious steak
Why it happened - I marinated with soy sauce and garlic salt
Why it made me happy - this rib eye was so good that even the fat was edible.....though I did my best not to. Truly...one delicious dish.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 166

HappyUP!!! - an entertaining speech
Why it happened - I visited a different Toastmaster Club
Why it made me happy - the club had a guest speaker. The gentleman was 88 years old...same as my dad. He told about his experiences as a public speaker. He definitely caught a lot of breaks along the way...but he was in the position to receive and take advantage of them. He had great stories and a message. "I don't get it. People think that the big house and the big SUV is going to make them happy. When you think of yourself, you will never be happy. You gain happiness by helping others." He also rescued JFK in WW2 when JFK was just Jack Kennedy. He married Jackie Kennedy's interior decorator's daughter. He definitely had an interesting life and some great stories, good speaking tips and a nice message. Still bringing it at 88.....a HappyUP!!!

HappyUP!!! - training call
Why it happened - I jumped on it
Why it made me happy - I was supposed to take this call next week. Getting it done this week preps me for a meeting tomorrow and puts me ahead

HappyUP!!! - a great recruiting call
Why it happened - I was taking advantage of an opportunity
Why it made me happy - the recruit was so happy that I called. She was purely excited...I could feel it through the phone. This is going to be an excellent hire.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 165

HappyUP!!! - taking Dad to an old co-workers 50 year employment anniversary
Why it happened - I was asked
Why it made me happy - while Dad and I were left down on the end of the lunch table do to accommodating for his wheelchair, he had a nice lunch out. We had a nice lunch out. I talked to some of his friends that he knows. I think that, though he can't fully participate in conversation, a parent appreciates his son conversing with his cronies on an adult level....even when the son is as old as I am. I think it is a parental pride thing. All in all, it was a nice couple hours out with Dad.

HappyUP!!! - getting stroked at lunch
Why it happened - uh....let's see...what do I say....maybe I'm hot?
Why it made me happy - an attractive 40-ish co worker sat next to me with her beautiful 4 yr old daughter. She turned and said, "excuse me, did you say you were single?" After I replied in the affirmative, she said, "because, if you are looking, I have 4 or 5 attractive friends that would find you very attractive." What do you say to that? "Hey, I'm in sales. I have to ask. If you have a card, I'll set it up," was her next comment to explain her forwardness. Attractive...average....who knows? At least I know I am more than a couple of cuts above dogmeat!

(I have to share an additional funny. She had gone a step farther to ask me what I was looking for or what my type was. Now, a little taken aback at this point, the best I could come up with was, "I like the non-mentally deranged type." She looked over to her friend and they said, "geez....he's looking for the impossible." It's scary being single sometimes.....but fun too!

HappyUP!!! - hooking up with an old client
Why it happened - I picked up the phone
Why it made me happy - I think that call is going to get the company a recruit and business from several new clients. That is a big HappyUP!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

QuoteUP!!! 2....Billy Shakespeare on Good or Bad

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so"

-William Shakespeare

This is one of my favorites - and one that, if you let it sink into your brain, will mess with how you think.

...and that is a good thing - "wait a minute, Nutster. What about that guy that just murdered those people? That was bad."

No....it just is - the guy murdered some people.

Now, if that is the case and that example isn't "bad" - what happened TO YOU today that was "bad"?

Was it "bad" - or just...well....was it just it?

Tossing labels around carelessly - will effect your ability to recover from things that can bring you down and has the ability to create bias that can impair judgement.

(QuoteUP!!! is part of an ongoing series of some of the best of the best quotes that I have collected and that support the concept of HappyUP!!!)

HappyUP!!! Day 164

HappyUP!!! - time to recover
Why it happened - I was running way ahead of time
Why it made me happy - well, I wasn't happy that I had to drive all the way back to Roseville from Folsom because I forgot something. But, between running ahead of time and an appointment canceling, I still got the work done before my deadline. When I mentioned to someone about having to do this, they said, "so you are having a crappy morning too!" I said, "nope. I would have preferred it to go differently but it's all fine." THIS is a very important thing that consistently HappyingUP!!! will do for you. It's easy to "go with the bad flow" and find all the crap that was happening. I had to make an extra trip and had an appointment cancel. That's two "bads", right? Nope. One helped out the other.

HappyUP!!! - a great talk with a team member
Why it happened - I set it up and made sure I was available
Why it made me happy - it needed to happen. I got some information that I sensed I didn't have. Most everything is out on the table.

HappyUP!!! - dropping off some vegetables
Why it happened - I have too many
Why it made me happy - I don't need to be thanked. I like dropping vegetables on my friend's doors and then leaving. Hey, I wasn't invited to "drop by" but I know they will like that I "dropped off."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

HappyUP!!! Pebble Beach...the Links

So, here I am at Pebble Beach - I have just hit a wonderful drive down the left side of number 6, the famous uphill par 5. The start of the round went par-triple bogey (oops)-par-par-par. At this point, not bad.

No need to be greedy - my ball was just out of the fairway with the ball up against the edge of the bunker you see here. This puts my feet above the ball which would tend to produce a slice.

Now, I am a smart golfer - so I decide to just cozy a little 5-iron up the left side instead of smiting a 3 wood that would get me close to the green...but also risk hitting the ball into the Pacific Ocean which is what that cliff abuts. My aiming point? It is left of the photo. Where did my ball end up? Well, see those bushes as the fairway starts to ascend? My ball went sailing over those. Seeeeeeyah! Another triple bogey and the wheels start to come off.

But, I make a nice comeback - here is a view of my tee shot on the par four eighth hole. It is laid up perfectly. Do you see that little sign in the foreground? Walk past that and you get about a 100 foot thrill ride to the rocks of the Pacific. You are looking at what Jack Nicklaus called his favorite shot in golf. While you can't see it here, the area between that sign and the front sandtrap is all air as you hit over the chasm where the Pacific comes in. My brother hit just before me.....and snuggled it in about 12 feet from the pin.

"I can't have him outdo me" - I thought as I readied myself to strike my 8-iron within a few feet of the pin. Well, that was the thought. I actually hit a very solid shot. It was pushed just a hair to the right and SHOULD have been just short of that bunker to the right of the green. Optimal word.....SHOULD. A bad bounce and down it went as I recorded another triple bogey. Pebble Beach is not kind to lapses of precision

But, in the end, - who cares?

Golf is about fellowship - and enjoying the day no matter what you shoot. Here are me and my golf buddies as we prepare to play one of the most famous holes in golf, the short downhill 7th. I blasted a firm pitching wedge through the wind and into a bunker you can't see here just beyond the green. I then dumped that bunker shot into the bunker between myself and the pin...but got that one up and down and made my 4 which was about all I would have gotten even had I hit a great first bunker shot. Pebble ain't kind to a lapse in distance control either .

At the end of the day - a fine, albeit chilly, time had by all.

HappyUP!!! Day 163

HappyUP!!! - momentary/permanent/good-for-awhile inspiration
Why it happened - I decided to make it happen....not sure what the trigger was
Why it made me happy - I just decided tonight to get some things done. I got caught in the TV spider web today. It's easy to do in Sacramento when it's 100 degrees outside.

Anyway, I started the day with some "Breakfast at Wimbledon." I try not to be a sports junkie but I do dig the major sporting events...especially individual sports. Today was the "Gentleman's Finals" as they call them at Center Court. The lawnmower, Roger Federrer, put down Rafael Nadal to garner his 5th consecutive championship on the English grass. It was an awesome match. It may even go down as the best matches ever played at Wimbledon. Anyway, from there, the Senior US Open Men's Golf Championship was on. You know I dig my golf majors. Now, had I really had something pressing to do, I would have done it. I did want to see if Tom Watson could pull through and win another major. Poor Tom...what a back nine.

Despite the distractions, I hit on some mental thoughts that should serve me well to kick some butt and get some things done this week.

HappyUP!!! - chat with a friend
Why it happened - I made a call
Why it made me happy - it's always good to have an excellent conversation.

HappyUP!!! - more pickings
Why it happened - the crops won't wait
Why it made me happy - the hot sun is doing a job on those tomatoes. I am going to get more yield than I thought. I did discover some crop loss, however, to the dreaded tomato worm. Hmmm....it's not destroying my entire crop but I may have to do some research to see if there is anything organically I can do about this particular little pest. I also had my second melon present itself to me today. That's breakfast tomorrow!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 162

HappyUP!!! - Fort Ord
Why it happened - day 2 of the golf junket
Why it made me happy - Fort Ord is a former defense base in Monterrey. They built an awesome golf course there. While the base has been decommissioned, all of the original structures are still there. There is a bittersweet sadness when it comes to these places. There is another one near my home. When you set foot there, you are struck by how large these bases are. You can only imagine the military vehicles and uniformed armed member forces scurrying around. These places are like former cities within the city...that are now ghost towns.

HappyUP!!! - golf at Fort Ord
Why it happened - day 2 of the golf junket
Why it made me happy - I had heard about this golf course for years but never played here. Some say the Bayonet course is the most difficult golf course on the West Coast. We were joined by a single looking for a game. He wanted to play the Black tees (those are the ones the pros would play). Reluctantly, we "manned up" and went to the back tees......all 7100 yards at sea level of them. The golf was brutal....yet fun. The back 9 is the original design. The front 9 has been redone in anticipation of turning the course into a resort environment. While I never played the original design, the designers did a good job of it. The course played true with no funky holes. There was one advantage to the back tees. While there were a lot of fairway bunkers on the course, I never put it in any of them. No, it wasn't because I was being a straight shooter. I couldn't reach the darn things from way back there!

HappyUP!!! - stopping by to drop off the driver I was testing
Why it happened - the pro shop I borrowed the tool from was on the way home
Why it made me happy - believe it or not, the official food of the golfer is the "dog at the turn." The hot dog between nines is traditional. While not between nines, we were on our way home and grabbed one of the best dogs I have ever had...right there at the municipal golf course. You can barbecue a dog, boil it, nuke it, steam it, but the best way to have a dog was the way they made this one......split open on a flat grill. While there, my brother was practically mobbed for autographs (he's the caddy for the head pro at this golf course and on their way to the PGA Championship). He felt like a celebrity so that was cool for him and added to his trip.

Friday, July 06, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 161

HappyUP!!! - Club Fitting in San Jose
Why it happened - it was on the way...the pro is a family friend...he has state of the art equipment
Why it made me happy - with computerization, this was more than a club fitting. The science mixes with the art of golf swing analysis and a swing flaw was pin-pointed. I have been battling and compensating for an issue. The HappyUP!!! is the discover.....the work that is going to be entailed to fix it? Eeeeeeeeh.......hey, it's OK. The first step to solving a problem is to admit you have one.
HappyUP!!! - lunch
Why it happened - it was lunchtime......but it was lunchtime at Pebble Beach
Why it made me happy - c'mon....silverware....linen napkins....people ACTING so fancy as my brother and I ate overlooking Stillwater Cove at Pebble Beach. It was a high society moment. Why the heck did they let us in? It was a very enjoyable setting for lunch.

HappyUP!!! - birdies at Pebble Beach
Why it happened - my brother made two of them....including to the back left pin location on the difficult 17th
Why it made me happy - he'll remember making a two on that par three for as long as he golfs. Everytime he watches a tournament there, he'll say..."17th? Not so tough....I birdied it when I was there."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 160

HappyUP!!! - a day off started at the driving range
Why it happened - decided I liked it so much yesterday that I would do it again
Why it makes me happy - see yesterday, day 159.....and I didn't strike it as well today...but still OK

HappyUP!!! - my haircut
Why it happened - I was shaggy....and I had the day off
Why it makes me happy - I like to go to the barber shop...sitting there...waiting...reading a magazine I wouldn't normally read (NO...it's not one of THOSE magazines). Then, afterward, you just feel clean.

HappyUP!!! - one hit wonders
Why it happened - I did some channel surfing last night
Why it makes me happy - it fascinating to hear the stories behind some of those catchy tunes created by people that struck lightening once. Whatever happened to those guys?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 159

HappyUP!!! - Fourth of July
Why it happened - a bunch of brave people were really ticked off
Why it makes me happy - because I can sit here and type anything that I want, worship how I please, and enjoy living in a system that is unparalleled in the world.

HappyUP!!! - the driving range
Why it happened - I made myself go this morning
Why it makes me happy - it was a productive session. Working on my pre-shot routine and mental game. Pebble Beach is only two days away! I definitely did some good work today.

HappyUP!!! - resurrected strawberry plants
Why it happened - I watered them
Why it makes me happy - we are having a little hot snap here in Sacramento. When I went to the garden this afternoon, I couldn't believe my strawberry plants. I thought they were dead...dead....dead. I gave them some water. Later, I thought it might be an idea to stick some umbrellas down next to them. When I went out to give them the shade, I couldn't believe how much they had perked up. I mean, these plants looked like dried out pancakes on my first visit.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 158

HappyUP!!! - great Toastmasters meeting
Why it happened - it was Tuesday
Why it made me happy - we had people out for the holiday so we were small.....but mighty. We got an official business meeting done AND heard a great speech. It was a great day!

HappyUP!!! - a great interview
Why it happened - my people are recruiting
Why it made me happy - see yesterday

HappyUP!!! - a solid meeting with my boss via phone
Why it happened - it was my one on one
Why it made me happy - he's happy........which means I get room to breathe and do what I do best!

QuoteUP!!! 1....Bhavagad Gita

"Man is made by his beliefs. As he believes, so is he."

- The Bhavagad Gita

I love quotes - always have. Long before they were used as much as they are today as sidebar fillers in whatever non-fiction book you read, I would jot them on an index card and file them away.

Eventually - this system gave way to keeping a piece of cardstock in a book as my bookmark. When I come across something good, I make a notation as to the page number and the quote itself.

Today - I introduce QuoteUP!!! as an adjunct to the regular HappyUP!!! faire. In most cases, I will actually be taking that quote and breaking it down a little further than a reader may do at first blush.

Of course- I am not the utmost authority so you are free to comment in as you wish.

Today's quote - is such a laydown, however, and the basis for modern rehash (i.e. The Secret) that it stands alone in it's simplicity.

James Allen wrote - "As A Man Thinketh" devoted to this very topic

Napoleon Hill's classic - "whatever a man can conceive and believe, he can achieve"

Was the original source - the Bhavagad Gita? Most likely not but it does date back to somewhere between the 5th and 2nd centuries B.C. so it's in the running for one of the first philosophies that recorded this precious piece of wisdom.

QUESTION: if a man (or woman) is who they believe, who do you REALLY believe you are today?

Monday, July 02, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 157

HappyUP!!! - woke up early...on my own
Why it happened - ...who knows...it wasn't too early though
Why it made me happy - no rush...Monday morning...ran well ahead of time...a good start to the week

HappyUP!!! - a great interview
Why it happened - one of my managers was recruiting
Why it made me happy - this is always a HappyUP!!! for me...new faces...new challenges...a possible future success. It is why we are in business.

HappyUP!!! - a good crack
Why it happened - I was at the chiropractor
Why it made me happy - the tenz machine, the vibrating massage.....and then the crack of relief. This will be my last treatment for awhile. It just felt grrrrrrrrrr8!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

SuperHappyUP!!! - Roger von Oech was here

It's not everyday that you get Mr Creativity - checking out your stuff. Let alone making a comment.

Of course - he commented on probably my most questionable posting that I have had here (you remember....the size of the zucchini one...no, I am not creating an easy link to it.

Anyway - Roger wrote A Kick in the Seat of the Pants and A Whack to the Side of the Head many years ago. I must have bought them both two decades ago. He also is the creator of the Creative Whack Pack. I have owned a deck of these for almost as long.

Roger has a talent - for getting people to look at things from different perspectives (hmmmmm....any reason you can think of why the Nutster digs this guy's stuff).

His latest item - (which I don't own...yet) is the Ball of Whacks (check out the video on this). It looks like a fun puzzle that is getting a lot of press. Something tells me it is a bit more than just a rubic's cube.

Anyway - it was an honor having him stop by today. Click here to see what Roger is up to these days. He has an excellent blog. To order any of his products, go here....go here now!

HappyUP!!! Day 156

HappyUP!!! - found the flash drive I have been searching for
Why it happened - I made an unplanned stop at Frye's Electronics
Why it made me happy - unlike many guys, going to Frye's is not a HappyUP!!! for me. I had been there before in searching for a high capacity flash drive that needed no external power or required it's own software. I had been to Frye's before in a vain search. I was on my way home from errands and I gritted my teeth and said, "let's give it another shot." At this point, you may wonder why I said "let's" when I was by myself but let's save the multiple personality discussion for another time. I can now back up my work computer and home computer to one easy place and return the drive that I borrowed 6 months ago.....well, as long as I get the thing to work. That will be a HappyUP!!! on another day.

HappyUP!!! - weigh in
Why it happened - it happens every Sunday
Why it made me happy - I don't know where those last 6 pounds came from but it appeared that they had come to stay. Well, not this week. 2 of them dropped so we have the scale heading back in the right direction. The standing goal is to leave the year with less weight than when I came in. 8 pounds should do it and I am not going to be waiting for Thanksgiving to make it happen.

HappyUP!!! - hauling in the bounty
Why it happened - I did some pickin this morning
Why it made me happy - you can read the post below. It says it all. It's so colorful...and to think that just a few months ago it was just a bunch of dirt out there.

HappyUP!!! Harvest It UP!!!

Quite frequently - I get asked the question, "Nutster, how is that garden coming along?"

How am I supposed to answer that? - there is a piece of me that wants to beat myself up over the care (or lack thereof) of my beefsteak tomatoes this year.....

There is another piece of me - that is very nurturing and supportive. The beefsteaks came up fast this year. In retrospect, this meant that I needed to spend more time training the vines earlier in the process. I also needed to water less, I think, because there was less heat. I am experiencing a lot of "splitting" which I am told occurs when there is too much water in the fruit prior to the change of color...
So...lesson learned - less water, less laziness early in the season for the tom tom's.

Other than that - I won't answer the question. I'll let a picture of this morning's harvest leave you to be the judge.

....and, while not pictured here - how about those melons???? I can't wait for the next ones to come along and be plucked. I see a melon patch in my future next year!

HappyUP!!! JollyJottings revisited...

Every so often - I like to remind everyone of what is trying to be accomplished here. It is to get you, my faithful readers, to consider adding some HappyUP!!! to your life.

The project - is based on scientific work of Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania.

It's easy - every night, list three things that made you happy, why you think they happened, and why they made you happy.

It's not a nightly doctoral dissertation - as you can tell by my postings. Sometime, you go long and sometimes you go short. The key is to always go.

The biggest objection I hear - "I can't think of anything for that day."

Two observations - 1) you aren't looking hard enough. These don't have to be life changing things. These are, quite often, the things that you have trivialized and overlooked. Look at some of my postings as an example. If a pretty flower gives you a moment of happiness, capture it and make it more than a moment....and relive it that night. 2) you aren't capturing as you go. It only takes a second to write it down. Carry a small journal or notebook with you wherever you go and make........

...A JollyJotting

Here is what I have going so far today - and today has been a fairly blase' day. When I get a day when I am out and about and really focused on capturing HappyUP!!!s, look out! I am dangerous.

Good night's sleep
Weigh in
Cork in a bottle trick
Roger VanOech comment on my blog
Some good postings
Putting some tasty ingredients together in the kitchen
A new book that I started late last night
Emptied the dishwasher at my brother and sister's house without them knowing it

None of the above mean anything to you - and they aren't supposed to! They are MY HappyUP!!!'s and I am the only person that I need to please. Even when I do things for others, I am really doing it because I want to. We all do. If you are looking for praise, you aren't giving....you are conducting a transaction.

JollyJottings are all about - things that give you moments of happiness, joy, ecstasy, whatever.

HappyUP!!! Day 155

HappyUP!!! - Saturday breakfast with my adopted family
Why it happened - it was Saturday and it has become a tradition
Why it makes me happy - my best friend has a pretty large family. Mine is a small one. They go out to breakfast every Saturday. There is the patriarch and matriarch, three brothers, and a couple of wives in the mix. There are also some occasional children that mingle in and out. It's a big enough group that it isn't a big deal if someone doesn't show up. They go to my favorite breakfast joint. Everyone just shoots the breeze. It's an anchoring thing for their family. It would be difficult to pull this off with my family because, well, if either my brother or I didn't show up, one of us would be eating alone. It's just some good human contanct

HappyUP!!! - Ro-tow-tilling
Why it happened - I just did it
Why it makes me happy - little by little, I am getting rid of the grass and replacing it with garden. I took on another patch today. It was a little scary. I don't have a grand plan or landscape design other than less grass. While the amount of water goes down, the time to water goes up. Unless, of course, I install a drip system. The weeding time increases too! Unless, of course, I go to the store and get some mulch. Yes, some planning and commitment to a bigger project will soon become required. For now, it was just good to get some of the heavy lifting out of the way. Also, I just like the feel and smell of turning dirt. It is like real work. Write it off to the Forrest Gump in me. At the heart of things, I am pretty simple....just a little boy that likes to dig in the dirt, make mudpies, and get messy....all in the confines of my backyard.

HappyUP!!! - dad got some melons
Why it happened - I got to take care of him last night
Why it makes me happy - I got to take care of dad last night. The melons came from his old garden. He ate that puppy up right down to the rind!