Friday, November 30, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 307

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

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

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

Thursday, November 29, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 306

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 305

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 304

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

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 303

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 25, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 302

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

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

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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 301

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

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

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

Chicks, Dudes, and the Difference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What She Wants from Him

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

What He Wants Her

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 300

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the Track - Assessment Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 299

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tonight Was Weird

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HappyUP!!! Day 298

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 297

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

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

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

Monday, November 19, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 296

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

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

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

Sunday, November 18, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 295

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

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

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

A Place At The Table (Rerun)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 17, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 294

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...just the way I like it.

Check out this weeks entry here

You can also catch the entire library of past videos here

You can thank me for the experience later - can.

Friday, November 16, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 293

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

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

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

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 292

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 291

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 12, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 289

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 288

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 10, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 287

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

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

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

Friday, November 09, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 286

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

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

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

Thursday, November 08, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 285

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 284

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 283

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

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

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

HappyUP!!! Day 282

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

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

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

Sunday, November 04, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 281

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

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

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

Saturday, November 03, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 280

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

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

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

Money and Happiness

(A special post for my friends at SundayScribblings )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Say That I Am Cheap

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 02, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 279

HappyUP!!! - lunch
Why it happened - my lunch partner was persistent
Why it made me happy - I not only met a potential new business partner but, possibly, a new friend. How do I know this on a first meeting? Commonality. Commonality in healthy areas is the key to building relationship. It's not required but, the more commonality you have, the quicker the relationship can build. An instant friend is what I gained today.

HappyUP!!! - a funny e-mail
Why it happened - I sent one yesterday
Why it made me happy - I didn't expect to get this one back. It was clever and I shot another one back into the other court that was funny as well.

HappyUP!!! - a trip to my dental hygenist
Why it happened - I am on the quarterly plan
Why it made me happy - we had a nice exchange of ideas and she gave me some education about dental hygeine. I really got some good why's behind the what I am supposed to do. This may get me on the road to happy, consistent flossing!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

HappyUP!!! Day 278 Nov 1

HappyUP!!! - nephew's birthday dinner
Why it happened - my sis in law put it together
Why it makes me happy - family time with my bro and his adult kids.

HappyUP!!! - client confirms new assignment
Why it happened - an assignment came up
Why it makes me happy - it was a vote of confidence. I thought we would get it but it was not a given

HappyUP!!! - drive time to Yuba City
Why it happened - I had out of town business
Why it makes me happy - it's not that nice of a drive but there was a subtle fog all the way there. It was kind of the first fog of the year. It was another evidence of the change of season. A beautiful thing.