Friday, December 26, 2008

How can Christmas be holy and horrible at the same time?

The celebration of the birth of Christ is over, and the repercussions of the materialism sadly tied to the day have occurred. Much to my chagrin, again I become aware of seemingly perfectly normal adults (one in particular) who appear to have no grasp on reality and are lashing out like spoiled children at the perceived injustice they have suffered from the absence of an appropriate gift, one that it seems they believe they richly deserve.

I am hard pressed to understand the rationale for being angry for not getting a gift...tangible "thing" gifts are the choice of the giver...if they want to give and even more importantly if they can afford to. If a person does not receive a "thing" gift, then they can either assume that the person that they expected one from (which is a whole other conversation) either a) Did not want to buy one, or b) could not afford to buy quandry is, why in the world would you EVER contact a person after the holiday to snidely comment about "the gift you did not get"? How self centered and horribly egotistical can a person be?

In the times we are experiencing now, folks like me and my family are much more likely to forgo gifts that cost money and do not expect to receive them either....our pleasures at this holiday this year were as simple as sharing a meal together in a house that is still ours, at least for now, with electricity, natural gas for heat and water still flowing in the pipes. Our luxuries include cable TV and internet access, and cell phones to keep us in touch with each other and the world around us. My kids are working hard, and not getting paid nearly what their efforts are worth, but are grateful for a steady income. My youngest and the firstborn's sig other both have the additional burden of choosing to pursue higher education, with the additional financial strain that adds. They are succeeding in their pursuits, and those who know their struggles cheer their victories and support them when they stumble....those who are unaware or blatantly detached have no concept of the challenges that they face as they remain true to their vision for their future lives.

So about this whole "wah, wah...I didn't get a present" are way more than stuff in wrapping paper, bought with money...put under the tree at your spiffy house so everyone can see with the number of boxes how popular and well liked you are....the best gifts are the ones that require your personal commitment, not a commitment of funds....your love, your time, your support and your encouragement are the gifts that your family should be able to always depend on receiving, and if there is anyone who should be "entitled" to be resentful about not getting gifts, it is those who do not received these most important ones...

We may not have had a house filled with tattered wrapping paper on Christmas day, but we had hearts happy and filled with love for each other, and gratitude that we made it to another anniversary of the birth of Christ together...a blessing well worth counting...

That's it for now....till later, much love to you


Monday, November 24, 2008

This is what makes this place so special.....

I am sitting at my desk, and hear behind me the sound of one of our sales managers arriving in my area of the office, one of his young children in tow....she is a sweet little girl of less than 5 and all the other ladies in the area \"OOOO\" and \"AAAHHH\" as she walks though the office, saying \"Hi!\" to all.  Daddy is here to drop off his \"Angel Tree\" gift - one of the things that we do here during the holiday season...and she is coming along to be with Daddy.

As I continue to work in my email, I hear them walk behind me toward the tree where all the folks here are depositing their gifts to give to kids during the she talks with the ladies at the other end of the building, I hear the voice of our CEO, Jim as he walks toward her and her dad....

He immediately engages her in conversation...the kind of conversation that only that certain kind of person....someone kind, attentive and tuned in....can engage a little girl in...they talk about her and her daddy...her stuffed animals...and Thanksgiving....she is obviously absolutely enthralled that this \"grown up\" has taken the time to talk with HER...even with Daddy standing right by...the focus is on the little girl...and she is enjoying every second...and you can see from his face that Jim is enjoying it as well....and he would be able to have this same conversation with any of the children whose parents work here...he cares enough to know them beyond being employees...and it is obvious that it is something that he takes a great deal of pleasure in....

This is why, even in the every day world of work, this is a different and special place to be able to spend my days....there is a force here that goes far beyond the labour....and reaches into the hearts and taps into the spirits of every person who is here together to create the things we create....

It\'s a great place to work, no doubt....for so many reasons....but the little treasures like the one that I was privileged enough to observe this afternoon, really serve to remind why, every time they occur....

That\'s all for now....much love to you


Thursday, November 06, 2008

My best received post on Webooks

Eight positive comments and five star rating ----

gal pal

hook up after work
meet at your place so you can drive your cool new car to the restaurant

I "OOO" and "Ah" and say "How sweee-eeet"
I ask about your day and about your life

You are more than willing to share all

You tell me of your wife
of your "friends"
and your struggles with your current love interest
in excrutiating detail

I have been through this before
this is not the first time I have been a "gal pal"
Your exploits do not surprise me

You are a man
getting older and unsure
with lots of bravado and the need for attention

to assure you that you are still
and cool
and vital
and desirable


and certainly NOT old

Because I do know
and understand

I smile dotingly
lean in to hang on your every word
call out the fact that the waitress is obviously smitten by you
stroke your ego

so when we part
you will feel great about yourself

and I will know that I understand you
much better
than you would ever suspect I could

That's it for now...much love to you

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Shades of Pet Semetary

Not unlike the Stephen King book, when all hope was gone and our family had gone through the horrible first days of coping with the assumed loss of our beloved cat Woz -

The young one rises early in his effort to be a good citzen and vote before he headed off to school. He went downstairs to retrieve his clothes from the dryer - and before he made it to the laundry room, turned on his heel and busted butt up to my room, where I was drying my hair, getting ready for voting then work. The hair dryer was first I did not know that he was trying to get my attention...until he pounded HARD on my door and shouted MOM!!! I turned off the hair dryer, surprised - it was out of character for him to be so vocal and animated so early in the morning. I looked at his face...and asked him what was wrong...he looked at me, excitement in his voice...Woz is home!!! He is outside on the stoop! and then he headed back down the stairs...

I followed close behind... he already had his hand on the doorhandle, ready to let the cat in. I admonished him to wait...I wanted to check his condition before I let him in...with the information we had earlier received from a supposed eye-witness, I was concerned that he would be in bad shape and would need to be transported to the vet, rather than let into the house to roam about.

I looked out the side window by the front door...Woz was anxiously looking at the door, behaving in his normal I\'m hungry, let me in sort of way. As I opened the door a smidge to take a look at him, he nosed his way in, with Emma right behind. He took the alternate route through the family room to the kitchen and the food bowls. Emma took the direct route. We all were up at this point and followed close behind. In the light of the kitchen I watched as Woz and Emma both approached the food bowls...Emma arrived Woz closed in behind her, she turned, hissed and took a far so good...the couple was fighting as if Woz had never been gone....

I dropped to my knees near Woz as he hungrily devoured some food...a hungry guy after a week away from home. He tolerated me feeling him all over to see if he was wounds...not anything visible or feel-able...only matted fur from sleeping out in the wet and weeds...he was a little skinnier...but otherwise appeared none the worse for wear...

Needless to say the family is counting their blessings...and Woz\'s lives...we figure he cashed one in on this little adventure....but he is alive, home and safe now...and we are relieved, happy and grateful...

Thank you for your support and kind words when we were hurting...I hope now that you will share our joy at Woz\'s return

Till later, much love to you



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Our family's pain

Emma's home page and blog, please scroll to the bottom to read the most current entry.

Thank you for taking the time.

Much love to you,


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I am going to stop offering.....

....because noone listens anyway....i know now what my mom always used to complain about...feeling like you are talking just to hear the sound of your own voice, because it is obvious that the people you are talking to are not absorbing anything that you are saying...

I am so tired of being \"the fish\".....when will it be my turn to be right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

For those who are interested....

...i have been away for a week and am now back home.  Had a nice time but only limited time to be away....

back to it...

Till later, much love to you...




If you are interested, photos are available on Flickr (link at right)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Root Learning is #1!

TOO FUNNY!!!!! \"The Toledo Blade On-line\" article about the Blade Corporate and Community Spelling Bee....what a riot! Also there must be something in the print version on the \"Local Section\" (the part previously known as ... Read More\"The Peach\", as I have had people calling me saying they have seen \"my picture\" in the paper ;) GO ROOT!!!!!

That\'s it for now...Band Day at UT and I am lucky enough to have gotten a ticket, so photos and an entry for the game tonight to come tomorrow...till later, much love to you...




Friday, September 26, 2008

Thank you for asking...

 ....but I don\'t really know how to answer the question, \"How are you doing?\"  or the question \"Are you doing OK?\" - I\'m sorry...

Thank you for understanding...till later, much love to you...



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I missed you for 29 years......

By a happy accident, I loaned my \"Root Green\" iPod to the young one when his were all missing in action and gave him the OK to load it with his own selection of musical interests of the time....when I received it back when he found his own again, I did not think much of it and put it back in the case in which I store my two (needless to say, so that they do NOT get lost)....

About a week ago, when I began to crave the protection and distraction of music, I pulled out the green iPod and clipped it to my pink UT lanyard as I was cleaning and setting the Birch conference room for a client visit...I turned it on to find the young one\'s load of music...unfamiliar at first, but soon totally capturing my favour and much so in fact that upon completion of my task, I returned to my laptop and promptly began to search lyrics to determine the name of the group that had my rapt my attention....

The name of the group - The National....the album on my iPod, their newest (I believe), named \"Boxer\"....the songs are all wonderful and the lead singer\'s voice is like a low purr in my ear through the favourite song of the moment is \"Slow Show\"... it has a very true ring to are the lyrics...

\"Standing at the punch table swallowing punch
can’t pay attention to the sound of anyone
a little more stupid, a little more scared
every minute more unprepared

I made a mistake in my life today
everything I love gets lost in drawers
I want to start over, I want to be winning
way out of sync from the beginning

I wanna hurry home to you
put on a slow, dumb show for you
and crack you up
so you can put a blue ribbon on my brain
god I’m very, very frightening
I’ll overdo it

Looking for somewhere to stand and stay
I leaned on the wall and the wall leaned away
Can I get a minute of not being nervous
and not thinking of my dick
My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins
I better get my shit together, better gather my shit in
You could drive a car through my head in five minutes
from one side of it to the other

I wanna hurry home to you
put on a slow, dumb show for you
and crack you up
so you can put a blue ribbon on my brain
god I’m very, very frightening
I’ll overdo it

You know I dreamed about you
for twenty-nine years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for
for twenty-nine years

You know I dreamed about you
for twenty-nine years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for
for twenty-nine years.....


Hope you have a wonderful day....till later, much love to you



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nothing in particular...

It has been an odd week...there has been a frenetic amount of activity for the IT team, and it seems that we are moving forward.  So much to try to sort is very difficult...

The feel for me was rather adrenaline driven - pushing harder than I normally feel comfortable doing to try to get things accomplished....I am the \"soft hand\" of the is not \"like me\" to take an aggressive stance and poke and prod for results.  I hope that this strategy will not continue to feel \"needed\" is exhausting for me and I have gone home every night this week feeling mentally and emotionally drained.

Above all else, there is a very understanding tone radiating toward the team from the organization, for which I am truly grateful.  The folks we work with are supportive and almost gentle in their approach to request help...I hope that they are not seeing the team as \"fragile\" and \"troubled\"....only going through a rough patch, that we are working hard to resolve.

Ah, well....I have had a calm and low stress weekend....the firstborn and his Ann took their day off yesterday to create a wonderful autumn appearance for our looks absolutely beautiful to me, but not out of the ordinary for our neighborhood....everyone (the young adults) went to the UT home opener last night...triple overtime and a one point loss...lots of not happy Rocket fans in the house this morning...

That\'s it for now....just a note to let you know we are all here...till, later, much love to you....




Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thank you, Dave <3

As you can see from my blog time stamp I am here in the office very early...there is a lot that I needed to do, not the least of which was to assure that the Birch client room is comfortable when our guests arrive...had a bit of a challenge with that yesterday, but hope today will be much better. I walking out to my car in the driveway schlepping my stuff, getting ready to head to the office, I glanced, as I always do to the sky above my house....the clouds were aglow, illuminated by the nearly full moon....I figured, hmmm...that is pretty cool - when I get to work I will see if it still looks cool and if it does and I have some time I will make another stab at this whole photos at night thing....which I am not very good at most of the time...

SO....I got to the office...and it DID still look really cool....even moreso after I looked at the moon from the angle that my parked car positioned me I got out my \"good\" digital camera (a 10 MPX Samsung)  and mini tripod and started trying to position the camera (and myself) in a strategic spot to capture that perfect lunar morning photo.

I did a lot of adjusting and moving is tough not to be able to have the camera where your eyes are...the tripod that I had with me was nothing more that three little legs that take my unsteady hand and heavy shutter finger out of the focus mix.  Sitting the camera with tripod attached on various and sundry flat spots on the car got me a few opportunities (which I have yet to look at, as I am supposed to be doing WORK right now) to try to get some cool captures...but I still was not seeing what I wanted when I looked at the display on the back of the camera....finally in utter frustration, I laid down on my back on the asphalt parking lot next to the car, propped the tripod on my chest, and looked to see what that got me....EUREKA!!!  finally the camera and I were seeing eye to eye, so to speak....happily absorbed in my quest, I began to snap furiously away whenever the clouds would part....changing aperture, focus, shutter speed...who knows what I will end up with...but there was a lot of joy in the trying...

My attention totally directed to the camera and the moon, I was taken by surprise by a voice behind my head...and to become aware of the sound of a car idling.....I tipped my head backward (the visual - laying on my back in the parking lot, my purse open and on the trunk of my car, the lights of the car off and I am wearing dark clothes so you cannot see me very well save my blonde hair and the grey sweater I have on under my \"Root hoodie\")  and observed (upside down, from my perspective) Sylvania Patrolman Dave Arvay, walking toward me, hands on hips....he had come to check on me when he pulled into the Root World Headquarters parking lot and saw what looked to him to be my car (which he has come to recognize) my purse with contents strewn on the trunk, and me, laying on the ground next to the car....I can only imagine what thoughts were going through his mind when he approached me...not knowing if he was walking up to me with a heart attack...or worse...having been assaulted in the parking lot....

I was very apologetic and thanked him profusely for checking on me, and assured him that if I had any success in my photography I would make sure I found him to share the, needless to say, I hope when I look at the photos from today, there are a few that are worth sharing....if not, I would imagine that Dave may be VERY VERY disappointed in me  :)


Hope you enjoyed the story....if nothing else, I lead a very interesting life...

Till later, much love to you



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just Curious......

I mean. don\'t get me wrong, it\'s totally cool to have a visitor that is showing a noticable amount of interest in my blog...there are only a few that I normally see here with regularity, so the additional activity in my traffic is pretty darned conspicious....


If you are a friend wishing to see what is going on with me, you probably have my cell phone me for gosh sake!   If you are a potential employer, then you have also seen my resume on my personal pages hosted by Microsoft Small Business services - you also have my phone number and email address....I would be glad to respond to your contact....


If you are someone who is just here to give me grief or cause me trouble, just leave me alone...I have had to make too many blogs private in my time because there are too many not nice people in the world who are just itching to whip something up....if I had anything to hide, do you think that I am still so stupid as to post it on a public website, for cripes sake????

I do have a traffic counter and it DOES give me some pretty cool information on where hits come from and the originating service provider and IP, if you wanna talk to me, talk to me....otherwise, lets stop with the in depth dissection of my blog, OK?


That\'s it for now....much love to you that I KNOW who are showing up here...till later...


This morning\'s sounds....

Your Vegas - In My Head

Drunken like the fallen stars of Silver Screen
Broken like the speeding car of young James Dean
Spoken like the dying words of Elma Green

Always, always

Yeh, I\'m sorry I said
It\'s just a feeling in my head
Yeh, I\'m sorry I said
It\'s just a feeling in my head
It\'s just a feeling in my head

Sleeping pills won\'t fool the world that you\'ve never needed anyone
It\'s plain to see that all your seams are coming undone
Don\'t you know that life is all about having fun

Always, always

Yeh, I\'m sorry I said
It\'s just a feeling in my head
Yeh, I\'m sorry I said
It\'s just a feeling in my head
It\'s just a feeling in my head

It\'s in my head
It\'s in my head
It\'s in my head

Yeh, I\'m sorry I said
It\'s just a feeling in my head
Yeh, I\'m sorry I said
It\'s just a feeling in my head
It\'s just a feeling in my head

Monday, September 08, 2008

Currently Listening to....

Look at -
such a fine citizen!
Look at -
Such a glowing example

Of peace and glory...Glory....Glory.
Of peace and glory...Glory....Glory.
Let me follow you.

We believe in your power to lead without fear.
Not above, in some tower,

But there-
Right down here...with this world.

Look at

Everywhere at once.

Look at

Such a glowing example

Of peace and glory...Glory...Glory.
Of peace and glory...Glory...Glory.

Let me...

Let me follow...

Let me...

Let me follow you.....



- My Morning Jacket, \"Look at You\", from the album Evil Urges

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I\'d like to shake your hand....

In talking with a friend recently, they bemoaned the fact that their significant other seemed to be very self-righteous and absolutely convinced in her perfection and the tremendously flawed state of everyone else. Their aggressive judgmental behaviour precluded any listening or logical thinking on their behalf and worse than anything else this particular person also seized her church\'s interpretation of the word of God and wrapped herself in it as well, to assure her that her behaviour was above reproach.

This situation took me back to when I was first married. We were very young and had moved to Toledo from our hometown. My ex-husband was a drafter and worked in a prominent company in Toledo. I was alone in a new town, with one year of college as a music major, and no real plan for what to do next. It was agreed that finding a job would be a good idea. There was a shopping center in close proximity on the bus route. I travelled there on the advice of a friend of my ex, who worked in a music store there (where they still sold vinyl!), to see if there were any sales jobs available. With little expectation of being hired, I submitted an application to the manager of the tuxedo rental shop in the shopping center. After interviewing with the manager and the district manager I was hired. I was ill-prepared for all that I was going to encounter in the position, but throughout the experience I gained a huge amount of skill and life experience that I draw on every day.

After a few years, the company that I worked for, which was located in Indiana, decided that the remote locations that they maintained in Ohio were not profitable and they sold them to the firmly established local company Russell\'s Formalwear. Russell\'s, which does not exist anymore, was a long lived family business, started by the father, who was a tailor, and at the time when I was absorbed into the organization, president, vice-president, and several others in the organization were all members of the original family. They tried to maintain the other organization\'s stores in their locations for a time, perpetuating the appearance of competition, but eventually the stores became more of an expense and their redundance was a drain, so they were closed. My store was closed and I was transferred to the Russell\'s location that was closest.

That location was managed by a veteran of the menswear/formalwear realm. Virgil worked for years in a now defunct menswear chain, and had been with Russell\'s for many years after that. He was known for his exacting attention to detail and his sometime gruff manner. He was a man of the \"old school\"...sales people sell...the people are already in the store because they want to buy...just get them into a suit. He was also known at Russell\'s as the first manager to take on a female assistant. For the most part, there were few females in the realm, and even when they were hired, it was usually as a part time person to support the store during the busy times of prom and summer weddings. Virgil had no preconceived notions about whether females could do the work of a manager in a store...his standards for her were the same as those he had for himself. She learned from him and followed the protocols, and as a result Virgil was a loyal manager and supported her in her growth and eventual promotion to manager of a store of her own.

I was transferred to this store...having been manager of a store of my own and now being assistant in the store of one of the most prominent managers in the organization. I found Virgil to be generous with his praise and also liberal with his correction. He soon began to invest in my success with supportive congratulations when a job was well done, and also blunt correction when I screwed up. As a result, I screwed up much less, and became much more consistent in all facets of my work...he was a great teacher, and I was a grateful learner. As we worked longer together, I came to feel a real fondness for he shared his love of his family, his faith and his deep devotion to his wife and daughters, I felt almost a familial attachment to him.

During one particularly busy summer wedding weekend, we had a large wedding party that I had registered and measured for their formalwear. They were rude at the fitting, bringing the entire group of groomsmen in together an hour before store close to be measured, and they were drunk. Since our stores were small, they were primarily manned by one I was there alone to measure 6 drunken ushers, the groom and the grooms father. They were also rude when they arrived at the store to pick up the tuxedos for the wedding....they did not send each man in separately to try on the outfit before it left the store, as we always advised - they sent the father of the groom to pick them all up in a batch. In addition, they did not pick up the tuxedos when they were available - the Thursday before their Saturday wedding - they picked them up on Friday apparently be distributed to the party at the church right before the wedding. Virgil was not there to see this happen...but he was in the store when the tuxedos were returned.

On the Tuesday after the wedding (a day late) the father of the groom arrived at the store toting three large garbage bags. He dropped them on the floor next to the counter at the back of the store and said, \"Here are the suits for the ***** wedding. I think I should get some money back. These things fit terrible.\" I was stunned. First, I had no authority to give a refund, second the man was within a foot of me, he had just dropped eight tuxedos, in I had no idea what condition, on the floor in garbage bags at my feet, and he was already on the attack. I looked at him and said, \"I will have to check in the tuxedos - you will have to wait until I assure that we have gotten everything back,\" then I began to dig through the smelly, tangled mess to sort jackets, trousers, shirts and ties to see if all was there. The father continued to harrange me about the tuxedos...\"all the pants did not fit in the waist, they were too long/too short/ the shirt sleeves were too long/too short - my jacket was tight in the waist....\" he just went on and on....

I think that Virgil would have let me finish the transaction if the man had not been mercilessly badgering me...he usually did not interject when I had a difficult customer...part of my learning, I had come to understand. But in this case, he stepped from the back area of the store and walked around where I was sorting to stand toe to toe with the belligerent man.

\"Sir,\" he said, \"I couldn\'t help but overhear that you had some trouble with your suits.\" The man looked at him, still defiant and said, \"Yes, I certainly did.\" Virgil calmly continued...\"So, when did you pick them up?\" The man was forced to acknowledge that it had been Friday before he came to collect them for the party. Then Virgil asked, \"And as soon as you got them you tried them on?\" The man admitted that , no, they had not tried them on and only dressed when at the church. Virgil looked at the man. He then looked toward me, still sorting through the dirty clothes in the garbage bags. Then he continued...

\"Sir, this little girl works very hard here for me and is very good at her job. This is a very busy time of year and there are a lot of weddings taking place, not just at our store but at all the stores that Russell\'s has. Everyone is human and makes mistakes, but we have things that we do to assure that if a mistake is made we can fix it so that you are happy and your wedding can go well...\"

Virgil then extended his hand to the man....\"Obviously, however, since you found it necessary to talk to this girl the way you did, you much BE, sir, I would very much like to shake your hand....\"

\"I never thought I would meet Jesus Christ in my lifetime, and if you are perfect, then surely you must be him.\"

The man was taken aback...the look on his face was one I will never forget....I cannot read to this day what was going on in his mind, but I think it may have been a lightbulb moment. After that, he apologized to Virgil (interestingly enough, not to me however) and left the store. Virgil, not missing a beat, helped me sort the rest of the accessories and then transport the whole smelly mess to the back room to return to the plant to be dry cleaned.

The point of this very long ramble...I have never claimed to be perfect...and don\'t feel that anyone can ever claim that....this story always comes to mind if I even get a tiny bit egotistical....I am so grateful to have had Virgil in my life at that very formative time...he is gone now, but I still think of him and what I learned from him...this and so many other things...

Hope you enjoyed this story....till later, much love to you



Friday, September 05, 2008

SEP for Real Life?

Been thinking a lot....there have been many happenings lately that have given me pause and caused me to really step into a more thoughtful and observant place.  I have put my thinking cap efforts toward, in particular, people dynamics (imagine that) and in all this thinking tried to figure out what it is that has been causing so much conflict and unhappiness in some of the situations that I recently been significantly concerned about.

In a rather interesting moment of enlightenment, I thought about Root and what we do for customers...getting their folks to talk, gain understanding and align for their organizations.  Moving that to the next step, I thought \" is an organizational and family dynamic similar?  How are they different?\"

I came to realize that the SEP (Strategic Engagement Process) can be applied to family in much the same was as we help clients use it and for much the same reasons.  Companies struggle when their people at various levels are not communicating about their goals and needs.  The leaders, middle managers and individual contributors are constantly in conflict and cannot be successful in their jobs if they are not all aligned and have clear understanding about the organizational goals and the things that need to be done to accomplish them.  Is that any different from the dynamics in a family?  I think not...parents as the leaders have to have agreement among their group about the family goals and they also have to communicate those goals to the individual contributors (the children) so that everyone is aligned on how to make the family a success.  If there is not agreement between the leaders (Mom and Dad) or there is not clarity between the leaders and the individual contributors (Mom and Dad to children) then there is likely to be discord in the family (and that does not contribute to the success of the family, the parents OR the children)  Further, if the leaders (Mom and Dad) are not in agreement on their plan for the organization and how to accomplish their goals (harmonious relationships, communication, building family unity, developing healthy children, etc) then they will not be able to provide clear information to the individual contributors (the children) about how behaviours that they can practice and things that they can do to be successful in the family and excel at their job (which is growing up to be self sufficient and happy adults)

It would be interesting, I think, to try to have a family who is struggling use the Root structure to determine the needs of their family and follow the same methodology of seeing, talking and learning to troubleshoot their family dynamics.  I cannot do justice to the potential use of a Root structured tool for this, but I bet some family counselors could brainstorm with Root people who know how to build our solutions to figure out a way to put this in the Map/Leader facilitated format.  I wonder if anyone has ever thought of this (I feel sure that they have and there may already be something like it in our intellectual property)...

Anyway...just an interesting observation...if you have any curiosity about the Root methodology please visit the Root website at and poke around...there is an interactive page that features the very important Root Canyon Map, which is often used to start conversations with clients and help them start to think the process of engagement and why it is important....

Hope you have a wonderful weekend...till later, much love to you...



Thursday, September 04, 2008

Confronting the elephant in the room....

When I was sitting at the desk of the Director of the Concepting Group, working on his newly deployed Macbook, I glanced around his cube while waiting for a task to complete.  He is an extraordinarily talented artist (and a really COOL guy) and has several of his sketches posted on his cube wall.  As I looked them over, one of them, sketched with a blue sketch pencil grabbed my attention.  It was a drawing of an elephant in profile...its huge majestic ears slightly fanned, its trunk dangled loosely in front of it.  The detail was so amazing...the skin, the tusks, the eyes, with their eyelashes...the tuft of hair on its I scanned all the elephant\'s details appreciating Victor\'s talent, I realized that I had missed a very crucial detail...the elephant was standing in a boardroom, with a large oval conference table surrounded by a crowd of chairs...they were talking among themselves, oblivious to the humongous animal in the room with them, sucking up their air, and potentially leaving unsavory reminders of itself, should it leave the a flash of realization, it dawned on me that this sketch meant more to me than I would have at first imagined...and that it was probably much more than a serendipitous coincidence that I had observed it on this particular day.

In the past few weeks, it seems that this particular endeavor (acknowledging the elephant in the room) has become much more prevalent in some very important discussions occuring in both the personal and work arenas. It seems that walking around the behemoth has gotten too difficult and time consuming to do anymore and as a result previously ignored or unnoted behaviours are being taken note of, mulled over and using all kinds of strategies whose effectiveness I sorely question, being *discussed*  As my personal knowledge of these conversations is high level at best, and for the most part only from one participant\'s point of view (and the participant feeling very much like their view was of the posterior end of the pachyderm) I am hard pressed to declare any potential success or failure in the attempts to finally become acquainted with the this prominent, and I doubt invited, guest.  All I know for sure is, now that it is acknowledged to exist, the other inhabitants of the various rooms will be hard pressed to ignore it any longer and will be forced to address it and be come informed about it so they can deal with it. 

In any case...home from work...this topic has been on my mind for numerous reasons...had to take a stab at putting it in words....hope you are well and enjoying the early autumn days...till later, much love to you



Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Moving forward

It has been a very long weekend.  The migration to new equipment is to begin today, with all that that entails.  Folks have been frantically trying to keep pace with a very aggressive timeline, working on imaging and other problems in prep for today.

My responsibility has been email file a corporate environment, no small thing to be charged with.  The folks here live and breathe their calendars and emails...client facing folks are practically hog tied if they do not have the ability to keep in touch with their contacts regularly using the magic of technology.

SO......I have been working diligently to convert data...Entourage mail Outlook PST files...a time consuming and mind-numbing process...I would think that there would be some way to automate it, but infortunately I do not know scripting languages, so I am manually doing all preliminary set up, file moves, configuration on the Outlook side, and moving the files again for the final archive from there.  Using the vehicle of the Exchange server is very labourious and I would assume somewhat corruption or the wrong mailbox becoming the authority and all mail could be deleted by mistake....but it is the only way that I have found documented to do what I have to do....on Saturday and Monday conversions took place for a protracted amount of time...and I am here again this morning before anyone else to take up where I left off....

So it is hurry up and wait...and in the wait time I write for you...hope you are well and have had a wonderful relaxing long weekend...if you see me today and I look a little rough around the edges, at least now you will know why...

Till later, much love to you,



Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Since the end of last week, we have been wrestling several very impactful issues in our family.  I am very thankful that I am able to say today that they are both in the process of resolution....taking some time to think through, act upon and be acknowledged on the behalf of the other parties outside our family who were involved...some of it much like a root canal, painful, unpleasant and replete with foul language, threats of harm and the like...

Bottom line however is that our stife will begin to calm today, and the most significant action will take place on Friday.  I am unsure whether there will be any other than vague references to these know more, you either have to have the capability of making direct contact with myself, my firstborn, the young one or the firstborn\'s Ann.  If it is appropriate for you to know the details, any of us will fill you in.

That\'s all for now...hope you have a wonderful day...till later, much love to you



Monday, August 18, 2008

Taking time....

Already this morning....been up since 4, and been at the office since 6...working on three machines at once and waiting for the call center for AT&T to be open so I can get in touch with them about service for a user who is travelling....

Lots of things going on....home and here...the young one in his second week of far he is enthusiastic and optimistic...the firstborn is working through his challenges with his \"find\"...I am helping him in the ways that I can (using my ability to write to create an authoritative document to prod them into some sort of reasonable will be waiting in the email and on the fax machines of the folks in charge, hopefully shaking complacency about this issue and spurring some positive action on behalf of the firstborn...)

That\'s it for now...doubtful that there will be much will be going on with the all company meeting taking place...lots of remote users will be here for work to be done...ah well...till later, I hope you are well....much love to you....



Friday, August 15, 2008

Stuff going on....

This week has been OK...some really nice moments and some stressful some things done and a lot more coming on the horizon....

The young one is in his first week of band camp for UT Rocket Marching far the experience much better than last year....looking forward to the first home game of the season - Sept 20 - it will be amazingly awesome...I will be practically busrting with pride, to be sure.

The firstborn is taking some action on the whole stabilization plan on transportation...winter coming and he had only his motorcycle to look to for a ride...he has located an awesome deal on just what he was looking for....bringing it home today...I will be excited to see it...

This weekend, no plans yet....see what happens when the time always, I have plenty to do at the office, and probably will be there at least one of the two days....

That\'s it for now....hope all is well with you...till later, much love...



Thursday, August 14, 2008

This pretty much sums it up.....

A number of years ago, on one of our infamous vacations, I bought a small art is about 8 1/2 by 11.... the appeal at a glance is the myriad of colours that dribble and run from top to bottom of the space...on closer look, the true treasure of the piece is revealed - the reason that I was able to justify almost $100 to take it home with me (a fortune for me for something like this, even now!) This pretty much sums me I think, how I feel about I approach life -

It doesn\'t interest me what you do for a living.
I want
to know
what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart\'s longing.

It doesn\'t interest me how old you are. I want
to know
if you will risk looking like a fool
for love,
for your dream,
for the adventure
of being

That\'s all for now....hope you are well....till later, much love to you....


Oops!!! - PS - Happy birthday to my sister, Sheri - she is 47 today (holy crap!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slacker ;-) been a little lax on the posting on the blog since last Friday...apologies on that...had a couple things at work come up over the weekend that took a little of my time and have begun participating in the online collaborative at a site called \"\"...there are a few projects there that interested me a bit and I have contributed a few things to them as well as starting to post some stuff I had written awhile back...

The new stuff that I have posted is rather dark and pulled out of the icky slithery not very well lit part of my brain...not what anyone who knows me in most contexts would expect...but I own them and they are indeed part of who I am and what I think...if you are interested you can go find them on WeBook...I am not going to make this easy for you by providing you a link, however....

Anyway....hope that you are well....I DO have one thing that I would like to partner in Converses here at the office has a son who is in Alaska doing lots of cool stuff and she shared with me his current Flickr album chronicling his adventures...I am sure she will not mind if I share the photos and his commentary with YOU as well...they are astonishingly beautiful photos and he has written a little about each to give you info about what he was doing to have the opportunity to take them...his Flickr album link is :

As the lyrics of the Beck song Hell Yes! say....\"please enjoy!\"

That\'s it for now....till later, much love to you.....



Friday, August 01, 2008

Heads Up Photographers and Flickr Users


For the second year in a row, Flickr is hosting \"24 hours of Flickr\"  Last year the event was held on May 05, 2007 and resulted in a wonderful book of the best of the best of submissions.

If you are a Flickr member, your home page will have a link to the Flickr blog that will also take you to the 24 Hours of Flickr page.  You must be a member of the group to be able to participate and post on the day.  Submissions will open on the day, and the time stamp of your photo upload will need to be for August 08.2008

If you are not a Flickr member, please consider becoming one....there is a free membership that allows you 100 hosted photos and the \"Pro\" membership allows unlimited uploads every month.  In addition, there is the functionality of content and geotagging of your content available, which allows you to assure that your images are accessible to people through searches.  Content you upload is also protected by the Creative Commons intellectual property settings you choose.

Hope to see you participating...I will be prowling with a camera all day that day, looking for that PERFECT Flickr image.

That\'s all for now....till later, much love to you....



Thursday, July 31, 2008


Had lunch with my dearest friend and had a few nice surprises.  He is looking great and feeling well...his current course of treatment over and seemingly he is thriving.  He has enthusiasm and humour, as always, and was pleased to share with me his news...his son engaged to me married next October, he bought a really nice boat to cruise the Lake on, and lastly, he bought a really cool new car.  The car photos are in my Mobile Uploads album on is a 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible....such a beautiful and comfortable car....and although he indicated to me that it was not his first preference, he surely seemed to be enjoying driving it!

The rest of the day was \"interesting\"...stuff that I planned extensively for did not occur...stuff that came out of left field took some creativity to resolve...and the other stuff, all I can do is listen and wait....

The folks are calm, the work goes on....and I go home...

That\'s it for now...til later, much love to you....





\"Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.\"

                                      - Frank Herbert

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Success.... different things to different is my personal favourite quote regarding success...


\"The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind. \"  

                                    - W. Somerset Maugham


Today I have accomplished several things that have contributed to making me feel successful....I was able to assure that a remote employee was able to continue to work, even though her assigned computer, from all appearances is shot in the head....I was able to provide new mobile communication devices for several folks in the organization to assure that they have the most current equipment to help them effectively do their jobs....and a replacement device is headed out to a home office user, who desperately needed a quick problem resolution, because the spectre of travel without connectivity to email was looming large on her horizon. 

I know I am successful when the people who depend on me are taken care of...whether it be my friends, my kids or my users...most days, I feel pretty darned successful...over all, today was one of the good ones...

That\'s all for now...till later, much love to you....




Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where did MY universe go....

...and where the heck did this messed up one I found myself in today come from, anyway?

Lots of weird, uncomfortable and just generally not regular experiences were had today...I will not enumerate them here, as there are several that caused me some significant discomfort...if you are interested, \"contact me off line\".....

I hope that this is not how the rest of the week is going to go, because to be totally honest, my patience on the whole thing is wearing mighty thin...but with every new day, there is fresh hope, right? zen, post-vacation state is totally blown for the moment, at least...went home with a headache....Talking Heads anyone?....\"same as it ever was....same as it ever was....\"

Some learning from the past kicking in, so I will leave you for now....much love to you till I return...



Monday, July 28, 2008

Things I missed last week....

  1.  The second week of \"The Root Olympics\" (turquoise placed 3rd overall - yay!)

  2. An \"in the moment\" recounting of the young one\'s day at Put-in-Bay (although the photos were absolutely awesome)

  3. Server outages on Thursday

  4. Lots of emails

  5. Phone messages

  6. ( this one made me very sad when I heard of it ) The death of Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose \"last lecture\" about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book.  The YouTube link included here is to this wonderful, moving lecture - it runs almost one hour and one half in length but is worth every second you invest in the watching. 

Back at work today, and catching up - with people, with emails, with resolutions to problems to all the stuff that backed up while I was away....I will admit that I approached return with a little bit of reluctance, but in a very few moments among the people who I consider both my customers and my friends, I was \"back\" was interesting to say it felt as though I was never gone would not be totally felt more like reconnecting with friends I had been away from for was a good positive vibe....

Oh well, I guess that\'s it for now....till later, much love to you....



Friday, July 18, 2008

Root Olympics - Day 3

The competition today will include \"Paper Airplane Race\" to take place out the windows of the Redwood Conference Room, to begin at 1130 AM EDT and \"Tube Spinning\" - which will occur (with much hilarity to ensue, no doubt)  in the grassy/pond area in the center of the World Headquarters parking lot at 100 PM EDT.

The individual participation events will continue throughout the day today with Wii Bowling, DIG mini-golf and Basketball.  In addition, keep your eyes peeled Rootsters, for your call on today\'s round of \"Speedy Thumbs\" - be SURE to consult your rules so your entry will be qualified!

Photo posting will occur as time permits...I will be in meeting throughout the day today, so I hope I will be able to snap a few in between times....

That\'s it for now...till later, much love to you...and have a great Friday!




Thursday, July 17, 2008

Individual Participation Results

Here are your standings for the individual participation events (Wii Bowling and DIG Mini- Golf)  as of end of day today:

DIG Mini - Golf

1st - Nick Woolaver - YELLOW - 20

2nd - Jim Haudan - ORANGE - 23

3rd - Rich Berens - PURPLE - 24


Wii Bowling - your current leader is:

Jason Cash - 245


Congratulations to all participants for a fun and active day!  Check out a few photos in the latest album on FB.

Till later, much love to you....



No major events today

...but the ongoing events of Mini DIG Golf, Wii Bowling and Basketball will be available for participation throughout the day....

Yesterday\'s events are documented in the newest album...kudos to the folks who decided they would pick up the gauntlet for their teams in the Pyramid game and get that extra point by participating with a remote user...big thumbs up to Michelle, Jay and Dave P for going the extra mile for their teams.  Congrats to Nancy and Veronica for being so totally in sync as to shut everyone down in the final round in just 15 seconds!!!  Those ladies were in the zone yesterday!

Pictionary was fantastic as well....the teams all chose talent from the creative pool to assure that they had quick minds and skilled hands to convey their words to the winners were the yellow team with Shawn Camp as their artist, second was orange with artist Emily Obereder and third was my very own team, turquoise with the lovely AND talented Nicole Kosier as our artist.  Check out the photos of our do you think you would have done under the crunch of a time limit?


Anyway....that\'s it for now...till later, much love to you...



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day Two - Event Summary

Today\'s main event, summarized by our Chicago Rootster, Elizabeth Kelsey


We are pleased to announce the introduction of a new game to the Root Olympics!  Yes, get excited!  It is the $100,000 Pyramid Trivia Game.  We need at least two teams of two people from each Root Olympic Team.  We are highly encouraging remote Rootsters to participate.  Please note extra participation points for remote-Rootsters!  Don’t let us down – show support for your Olympic team!

Here are the rules:

  • There will be lists of 20 words

  • Both members of the team each take a turn being the one to guess the words on the list

  • The team member not guessing, will be trying to describe the word without using the actual word in the description

  • Each member of a team will have 1 “pass” per round in case they get stuck on a word

  • No gestures allowed, this is NOT charades!  

  • The team to get the most number of points will proceed on to the next round

The $100K Pyramid Trivia Studio (aka the Birch Room) in front of a live studio audience (aka other Rootsters)
Wednesday, July 16th
11:30-12:30pm eastern
LIVE streaming from the Birch Room/Video Conference from Chicago

Team Events:
1st Place:  20 pts
2nd Place:  15 pts
3rd Place:  10 pts

Participant Points:
2 points for remote participants
1 point for all other (Sylvania-local) participants

Good luck!!



Photos to follow


Monday, July 14, 2008

Day One - Root Olympics 2008

\"Breakfast of Champions\" was a huge success, with much food, comradarie and fun...the cooks (Rich, Robin, Gary and Jim) produced a veritable banquet to start the Root Olympians on their way through their first day of grueling physical and mental tests.

The schedule today:

Opening Ceremonies with William McWankerby - 12:45PM EDT

\"Plug and Chug\" - 1:00PM EDT


Also throughout out the day, teams will be participating in individual events:

\"DIG Miniature Golf\"


\"Wii Bowling\"

and the ever popular Blackberry event

\"Speedy Thumbs\"


Keep an eye on the photo album for highlights from each day\'s events....will start posting later today, as time allows.

Stay tuned....should be a hoot!.....till later, much love to you....






Plug and Chug - congratulations to all the brave participants!

FIRST PLACE - David Whitney - consuming Life Saver Mints and Lemonade

SECOND PLACE - Gary Magenta

THIRD PLACE - Dave Padgett


Throughout the afternoon, basketball, mini-golf, Wii Bowling and keep an eye out for Speedy Thumbs (Remember to follow the rules!)


Friday, July 11, 2008

Upcoming events...finals of

Over the weekend, the final rounds of the LPGA Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Sponsored by Kroger to take place at Highland Meadows Golf Club....the event to this point has progressed in typical \"Farr\" fashion....rain to moisten up the course a bit before the Pro-Am....rain at the end of day of first round of play....and now sun and warm temperatures to elevate the humidity and heat for the last rounds over the weekend....after yesterday\'s play, the leader was at 60, with next closest at 68....the weekend rounds will be very interesting, with the winner to be determined by Sunday the meantime, blimps circle the town and golf course, broadcast trailers abound on the country club grounds, and strangers wander about the streets and in the stores and restaurants....

On Monday, July 14th, the 2008 Root Olympics begin at the Root World Headquarters in Sylvania. The events will be ushered in by the \"Breakfast of Champions\" and the opening ceremonies, which begins a two week period of events like \"Production Cart Races\", Two floor miniature golf, \"The Map Roll\", and this year, karaoke with \"Rock Band\" (a great team participation event)...our Olympic motto for this year -


Watch for photos as the events occur....

And lastly, I will be leaving for a week\'s hard earned vacation on Friday July 18, thru Sunday July 27. The trip will be to a wonderfully secluded cabin on the shore of a lake in Canada, with no phone service and internet access only if you track it down. The closest civilization will be about an hour away, so posting of photos or blog items about the trip will be \"catch as catch can\"....I hope that a dedicated Rootster will pick up the gauntlet for the second week of the Olympics and keep the photos posting and updates flowing....we shall see...

That\'s it for now....much love to you till later....


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Massive Amounts of Coolness and awesome stuff happening at my house yesterday....the firstborn and his Ann worked their little tushies off to get the back yard in a presentable tree is nothing but a stump and a bad memory....the tall grass is beaten into submission...and even a little edging was done to make things look a little more civilized....the next thing on the collective \"to do list is gutter cleaning...those hedges growing in there are looking pretty scraggly and have potential to be used a wind break here pretty soon ;)....should be able to address that, now that we don\'t have to go out shopping for goats to get the \"back forty\" in some semblance of order. the mail yesterday, the result of the yucky process of filing the FAFSA online to disclose to the University of Toledo our level of possible financial responsibility for the young one\'s second year of college...after submitting the report in the completed queue, reapplying for the PIN to be able to digitally sign, waiting for the PIN to digitally sign...and finally getting the PIN and finalizing the submission, we entered waiting mode again....while the University determined by our information (and the young one\'s grades from this past academic year) what was what, money-wise....the news yesterday.....all scholarships renewed for the coming academic year...and enough other stuff for academics as sophomore year as a music ed major....LITTLE TO NO OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE!!!!!  WOO HOO!!!!!  Supernatural SUPERSERIOUS AWESOME!!!  Congrats to the young one on great work freshman year...humongously excited about Rocket football 2008...Marching Band....concerts...all of it...will be an awesome year...hard earned by the young one....and to be enjoyed to the fullest...

That\'s it for now....and a lot it is.....much love to you till later....



Monday, July 07, 2008

Very Exciting Doings in the Root World

Our beloved CEO, Jim Haudan has embarked on a venture of gargantuan share his knowledge and vast experience in the arena of employee engagement with the world...his vehicle, a phenominal book to be released in August called \"The Art of Engagement\"

I hope you will take the opportunity to visit the website to learn more about Jim, the upcoming book, and what it is that makes this the one book you really need to read if you are looking for plain talk and practical knowledge about how to motivate, engage and get the most out of folks at all levels of your organization.

That\'s all that I am thinking about for right now....till later, much love to you....



Thursday, July 03, 2008

Torrential Downpour

It is a rainy, wet day in Northwest Ohio, the result of a very wet and rainy night overnight. Ten Mile Creek is raging, overflowing its banks in Sylvania, leaving to the imagination the condition of the golf course through which it runs, a little way \'round the bend. In the center of the parking lot at the Root World Headquarters, an impromtu pond is forming, in which mallard ducks have been sighted, enjoying the calmer and more tranquil waters. Noone has made efforts to measure the depth of said pond, but my loose estimate would be at lease a foot deep, if not more, at its deepest point.

Roads are flooding throughout the area, and electricity is out in pockets, a result of the high winds that accompanied periodic heavy rains. The up side of all this....the temperatures have dropped to a very comfortable level...really nice for July.....the down will be pretty soggy tonight for anyone who wanted to do the whole \"fireworks\" thing early...and very likely that it will be a little on the damp side as well on the Fourth....

Took photos on the walk in (yes, I did walk) and will post them in my Mobile Uploads folder on Facebook..enjoy!

With the creek up, I was wondering....anyone for rafting? :)

That\'s all for now....till later, much love to you...



Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fun with 5-speeds

After very little discussion and only a little (OK maybe more than just \"a little\") angst on my part, it has been decided that my beloved \"Moby Grape\", the purple Cavalier convertible is just too far gone for the firstborn to invest any more significant time in.  He is a great mechanic and has pulled our collective \"you-know-whats\" out of the ringer more times than I can count, but this time, with the struggle it would be to troubleshoot the coolant leak in the very tight and oddly oriented engine compartment, we all agreed that calling it a day was the right thing to do.  The firstborn has found someone who will take the little devil off his hands in exchange for storage space for his dearly beloved project car, \"The Notchback\", so it\'s basically all good....

I am, however, now permanently assigned to another member of the fleet of Timman cars -  \"Viktor\", the back from the dead, \"phoenix\" of a car that was resurrected from his previous life as a Honda Accord automatic transmission (which crapped out after a massive amount of abuse, so it was definitely NOT his fault) to rise again a Honda Accord five-speed....and quite a little trouper he is, also.  I have been \"learning\" the not so fine points of driving a five-speed in town since my first trip to Indiana last weekend, when, you will recall, I was set loose to grope my way through the gears from our home here in Sylvania to Angola, Indiana (or there abouts).  The learning curve seems to have dips and peaks... Friday morning, due to threat of rain, and a big box I had to schlepp, I drove to work...did an exemplary job of getting the mile and a half from my house to the office without stalling from a start, overrevving before shifting gears, or even stalling when shifting into reverse to back into a parking place a good distance away from the building.  This morning, I was again successful in getting myself going from in front of the house, and was able to successfully maneuver my way all the way to the \"Timmy\'s\"  about two miles away.  I declined to undertake the challenge of taking the car through the drive-up, so I parked and walked in...once ready to leave, I backed out of the parking space, only to stall as I was shifting into first.  I recovered from that without much struggle and made my way out onto the main road, only to be stopped at the light right before the overpass at Rt 23...and to stall as the light turned green, and have to refire and go with two folks sitting behind me, waiting.  I was able to go the rest of the trip to the office without incident, but I am still obviously not totally \"getting\" the whole shifting thing yet.

Further, I have totally avoided travel on any street in town where I might risk being stopped at a stop light that would keep me at an incline....I DO know my limitations, and the possibility of rolling back on someone because I am too unskilled yet to know how NOT to is just something that I know I can avoid so I do...I know as I get more accustomed to everything it will be no big deal, but I would like to get to that point without having any not very funny stories about how I got there....

For now, I am finding this whole process highly amusing and am getting used to the idea.  I still am a little rough on the shift sometimes and I still stall, but I have a whole new level of understanding of how Viktor works and respect him even more because of it...

Anyway...that\'s it for now...will keep you posted on the whole \"manual transmission\" thing...should be a hoot!  Till later, much love to you....



Monday, June 23, 2008

GLVROC at Walden Woods

So, over the past weekend, I was all set to go camping with a friend. I was to bring the camping stuff in my car and we were to meet at the campground to pitch a tent and then spend a couple days just chillaxin' and taking it easy with some friends. All sounds great, right? Well, yes....except you have to remember that it is ME - the person of the perpetual story - writing of course you know already that things did not go exactly as planned....

Getting ready to leave on Friday afternoon, the firstborn declared in no uncertain terms that I was NOT to drive my car, Moby Grape, on the trip because of a significant coolant leak. He was concerned about my safety and the possibility of my being stranded on the way somewhere....he offered this drive the white Honda, Viktor, that I used to drive (and of the ill-fated Florida adventure)...he has worked on the car a great deal since I have driven it last, and it is now a standard shift transmission rather than an automatic. The down side of that is the fact that I have NEVER in my entire life driven a stick shift automobile. The firstborn, with infinite patience and composure, spent nearly two hours teaching me the basics of stick shift driving, reassuring me the entire time that I was doing great and soothing my jangled nerves. Once we were both moderately satisfied that I understood the basics, we packed the car and after several false starts getting in reverse to get out of the driveway, he cut me loose to see exactly what I could do...wishing me well and telling me to be careful (funny how they retain those parenting behaviours we pattern for them) he watched with amusement as I bucked and lurched my way down our street.

Once out of town, where I stalled once in the middle of an intersection and once again at a four-way stop, it was smooth sailing, until I came upon a detour, which directed me to the Ohio you can well imagine, we stalled at the ticket booth, but once out on the four lane highway, the cruise was easy going....that is until it came time to exit in Indiana....the exit ramp was jam packed with stopped traffic....all the way onto the turnpike...on the way to the toll booth there, I stalled at least a dozen the person behind me quite a bit to laugh about, as long as they stayed far enough behind...

Finding the campground was pretty easy - the directions I "Mapquested" were pretty thorough. Once there, we pitched the tent and then joined the others at the campfire for sandwiches and beverages. Adult beverages flowed throughout the evening until the wee hours of about 11 oclock, at which time most of the campfire watchers retired to their tents. During the night, the rain came in and the thunder rumbled loud, accompanied by lightening flashes and lots of water pelting the tent canvas. When folks started to stir in the morning, the rain had moved on but the cool air remained...a beautiful blue sky and bright sunshine where with us to start the day.

Later in the afternoon on the second day, the group took a ride to Mongo - a pretty area to visit and spend a little time....they arrived back at the campgrounds just as the second round of storms rolled in...this one much the same as the last, but with more wind...enough to flex the sides of the tent substantially...but after it was over, the beautiful calm restored, and folks were treated to cooking by Evan on the new grill as we sat around the campfire talking and laughing once again.


After another great night of fun around the campfire, we retired to our tents once more....the campground residents however, continued on throughout the night, with music, laughter and fireworks, into the wee hours of Sunday.

On Sunday morning, everyone broke camp early, the threat of rain again in the forecast. All the camping supplies once again stuffed in the Honda, I bolstered my courage to once again take a stab at the whole "shifting thing". To the amusement of the few remaining campers, and of no surprise to any of them, I started out to stall immediately, then with a buck and jerk, headed out on the second attempt. Tracing the steps back home, but with the comfort of nearly empty roads on an early Sunday drive, it was a great trip back...and I think I may actually be getting the hang of this whole shifting thing, just a little bit.

Well....that's it for now...hope you got a chuckle....until later, much love to you....



Sunday, June 15, 2008

Eddie Boggs

In a very happy coincidence, and a perfect follow up to the post yesterday about \"genuine\", the Toledo Blade today ran a comprehensive article about a friend of mine, Eddie Boggs.  He is definitely a person that the word \"genuine\" fits.

I came to know Eddie in my time working in the schools, and found him to be a very easy-going guy who got along extraordinarily well with kids.  He was well respected by the staff who worked with him, and was always a pleasure to talk to, always pleasant and smiling.  It was not until I saw him perform at a local function that I came to know him as a performer, and the person I saw interacting with the audience was an amazing, engaging and talented musician.

Eddie has retired from his position in the schools, and now pursues his music as his job.  At 63 years old (and really what does that mean in this day and age)  he is going strong, and the Toledo Blade article informed that he will be performing with the New Christy Minstrels, locally this coming Friday at the Maumee Indoor (recent venue for a screening of the movie \"Glass City\")  and will also be accompanying them on several performances on the road.  If you have not yet planned your upcoming weekend, I recommend, in the strongest manner possible, that you take the opportunity to see this show, and get to know this great local talent, if you aren\'t already familiar with him.

If you are interested in reading a little more about Eddie, his life and his music, please follow this link to the Toledo Blade article online from this Sunday.  You can also visit his own website at which has tons of information about him, including how to contact him and a schedule of public appearances, if you are interested.

Hope you take a minute to check Eddie out...he is a pretty cool guy, a great Northwest Ohio asset, and just really really interesting. 

That\'s it for now....till later, much love to you....


Saturday, June 14, 2008

gen·u·ine \"\" /ˈdʒɛn\"\"yu\"\"ɪn/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[jen-yoo-in] –adjective

possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real: genuine sympathy; a genuine antique


It seems that in recent days, I have developed a real sensitivity to this word. It is bandied about in such a diverse variety of circumstances, and when taking into consideration its definition, its use does not always seem suitable. In the olden days, it was commonly used by hawkers of all manner and form of \"snake oil\" (yessiree folks, here it is, the \"gen-u-wine\" article). I can almost hear the addendum to that sales pitch...\"accept no substitutes\"....

I am relatively new to \"corporate culture\", having become truly immersed only a few years ago, as I have become acquainted with folks who have been navigating the big machines for many years. Early on in our conversations, I became aware of a certain set of \"buzz words\" that were prominent, heavily used, and seemed to carry a significant amount of impact when they were used. One of them was \"genuine\"

When a person has the moniker of \"genuine\" attached to their presence within an organization, it is understood that their behaviour is to be trusted, is of quality, and is always well intentioned. To attribute this behaviour to yourself is good, but the attribution of this characteristic by others to you is really the only opinion that is impactful and has value. This serves as validation that you really are behaving in the manner you believe you are ....For a person like me, who is very trusting, \"genuine\" is not a trained is just the way I am....I know what my intentions are, and believe that the intentions of the folks that I encounter are \"transparent\" (another great buzz word) as well. I am not a person with an organizational agenda....I know what I feel the job I have been given expects of me and my goal is to do it to the best of my ability. I like what I do and the people that I serve...I feel no necessity for agenda....

It is unfortunate that genuine and \"authentic\" seem to be a few of those words that can be \"leveraged\" (another great word) to excuse behaviours....\"I want to be genuine with you....let\'s be transparent.....\" used as the precursor to interactions that are, in all honesty, neither GENUINE or AUTHENTIC...they are oftentimes agenda driven, and the result...sometimes questionable at best....

This ramble?....the result of my first participation in a \"360\" process....self-assessment, assessment by my manager, and a group of people within the organization that I selected to assure that the information gathered would serve the purpose of the exercise. I have been struggling through the self-assessment, and as I do, I have been wondering about how my selected participants will be responding to those same will be interesting to see if I really am living what I intend, and feel I portray....I hope there are not a lot of \"big reveals\" (another one of those buzz phrases), but if there are I will be very grateful to the people who participated for their candour and caring enough to be honest....

That\'s what is on my mind this day...that\'s it for now...till later, much love to you....




Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is there such a thing as \"too nice\"?

Apparently there is....

I just received a call from a person I have been \"friends\" with for about three years.  He was calling me, after a very long lapse in conversations, to let me know that he \"may be getting married\".  I wished him well, and politely asked about how this came about and his future plans.  He shared with me a few minutes of his typical rambling conversation about trials in the relationship and other issues, and then proceeded to inform me that this call was to give me the assumed sad information that he was not going to contact me anymore.

The reveal, which I feel sure he made with the full confidence that it would be devastating to me, was taken by me in a matter-of-fact sort of fashion.  In my opinion, we had not had much conversation lately anyway, so less than little is none, and seemed like a rather small step, and not one that needed the fanfare of a formal announcement.  It got me to is it that he still felt that I would be so highly invested in his presence in my life that I would be upset with this big news....then it dawned on me....he felt that he had made the decision in the first place to distance...which I let him think...further, it seems that he assumed that I was waiting patiently for his return to my realm of experience...when in fact, if he wanted to return, I would have been fine with that...if he did not...well....I was fine with that also. 

I am glad that he felt that he was making the choice...and he had control of the situation.,...I get the impression that it was important to him, so I\'m glad that I was not snotty during the call and let him have his moment of \"power\"...he feels he \"did the right thing\" by me, and its all OK with me...

That\'s all for now...much love to you (really! ;)  )


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It Could Be Worse

It seems that the storms of last night have left a number of folks without electicity in their homes. I have been spending a bit of time on the line with TolEd today, in an effort to get the straight scoop on how long our little cluster of folks in my neighborhood can expect to be without.....

The answer was a little disappointing - the promise is to have everyone in our effected area with service again by tomorrow MIDNIGHT!!!! The only things that make this even slightly tolerable are the fact that it is not ungodly hot and that we have a portable generator that we can use to try to keep refrigerator cool so we don't lose food......

All in all, we are doing OK....definitely an inconvenience by modern suburbia standards, but what the heck? Some folks live like this just fine every day. The only pisser? Because of the way the grid is, when night falls we will be able to look across the street and out our back windows and see folks around us who have power.....needless to say, THAT'S a little aggravating! Ah well it is what it is....that's it for now....much love to you...enjoy your TV shows tonight....we will be playing HANGMAN or cards. :)

Sent from Vicki's Blackberry handheld device (please excuse the typos :) )

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It is a weekend in summer in Ohio

The Old West End Festival is this it seems that summer in NW Ohio has officially kicked off, at least as far as I am concerned.  There will be lots of folks chowing down, walking around and enjoying the historic properties in what was in years gone by the affluent part of Toledo.  There are lots of beautiful old houses there, and some of the residents are generous enough to open their homes to folks to show off their \"turn of the century\" opulance.

The firstborn and his Ann will be there, helping out for her church, as they take this opportunity to help the Old West End area take care of the huge influx of visitors by providing assistance with parking, cold water to take on their walk around, and some musical entertainment, provided by the group that Ann and others from her church are members of.  I will be going down a little later today and will no doubt post photos....loop back with me a little later to see some...

Storms from last night appear to be over....the heat is coming on and the humidity is likely to get worse...but that is summer in Ohio...and it is all just fine with me...

That\'s it for now....much love to you....



Thursday, June 05, 2008

Better Days

Our friend Jay and his family are making progress....he was in office with his wife and doggies to see us yesterday and was back to work today.  They have been working with their insurance company to get everything hashed out regarding settlement of their claim and rebuilding their house.  They are staying with family now, but will need to find a temporary place to live for awhile, but even with all of that, while they were with us yesterday, Jay and his wife still seemed really grateful...that they were not hurt, that the dogs were safe, and they had a lot of supportive friends and relatives.  Their lives will never be the same as they were a week ago, but hopefully, as time passes and their home is rebuilt, things will be even better.

It is wonderful to have Jay back in the office with us...keep him and his wife in your prayers...

That\'s it for now....till later, much love to you...



Monday, June 02, 2008

Such sad news

To all my friends, Rootish and otherwise....

In the possibility that you are not aware, I wanted to let you know that our friend and fellow Rootster, Jay Berning and his lovely wife and doggies have had a horrible tragedy befall them over the weekend.  The home that they have just a month and a half ago acquired, after much work and struggle, went up in flames on Sunday evening - the current opinion is that home and contents are a total loss.  Thankfully Jay and his loved ones are safe, and currently residing with a relative, as they try to figure out what happens next.

The lovely Veronica, has already mobilized her generous and giving spirit to get Rootsters moving on a monetary collection for Jay and his family, to help them to cover expenses as they regroup.  We are also looking into collections of clothes and other things for the humans and the doggies to help make their lives a little more comfortable during this very difficult time.

If you, any of my dear friends who are NOT Rootsters, would like to help out, please feel free to send a donation to Root Learning, 5470 Main Street Suite 100, Sylvania, Ohio 43560 - Attention Veronica (to help Jay Berning and his family).  Any thing you have to share with a fellow human in need would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for taking the time to read this...that\'s all for now.....till later, much love to you



Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - parade and other things

I rose early this morning, to the sound of the rain on the leaves of the flowering trees and oaks around my house.  The air in my room was cool and the leaves rustled ever so quietly as the drops fell from one to the next on their way to the ground.  The shower was little more than what could be called a \"smattering\" - nothing that would spoil the day to come in the slightest.

I had visited the cemetery on Saturday, anticipating a more persistent rain (prognosticators had indicated that would be the case as late as Saturday morning), so I did not attend the ceremony at the base of the memorial in the center of the veterans area...I can recall so many of them in recent years (9 to be exact); one for every year that the firstborn and the young one were in marching band...both high schools stood in full uniform on those occasions, some years in the cool overcast of early morning, other years in the stifling heat and humidity of a summer that had arrived too soon...still every year, they were there and I was as listen to the prayers and the politicians, to be among the living veterans and those departed, and to watch as the white doves swooped over the cemetery as they were released, I would imagine heading back to their coops at home.

This morning, I decided to walk (as has become my habit) downtown, to view the annual Memorial Day Parade- the precursor to the final ceremony, replete with a fly over from the Air National Guard F-16\'s whose home is at the Toledo Express Airport complex.  Most folks know of the event and try to attend unless they have other things to do, and there is usually a nice representation of folks lining the approximately 2 mile route, which snakes its way from Lourdes College campus, up Main Street, directly in front of the Root \"World Headquarters\" ;) and through the center of town, ending at Veterans Park, where the public softball fields are and a tank and cannon sit in another tribute to servicemen.  The walk started from my house with cargo pockets filled with Blackberry and cell phone, Flip video camera and additional AA batteries...I think I was prepared...and was convinced of that until afterward when I arrived at home to the realization that I had not taken a house key with me...thank goodness, the firstborn and his Ann were at home...another one dodged, it seems.

The neighborhood and Erie Street were very quiet...the only person I saw on the walk was a man repairing mortar on the side entrance of the church I walk by every day.  I walked toward Plummer Pool in the Burnham is cleaned, filled and ready to go (and now, there are swimmers there)...validation that the unofficial start of summer is here.....

On the walk through the neighborhood near the downtown area, I stopped often to take photos....all photos from the day are in the current album.  There was much to see...much to hear....lots to simply observe and digest...

While waiting for the parade to begin, I had the experience that I was meant to have on this day...I was standing near two ladies who were sitting on a planter talking to each other about the parade and their children.  They included me in several superficial comments about the weather or the band, then went back to talking between themselves.  As the parade started, and the colour guard and representatives from the local VFW post stopped just to the north of the Root building, on the recently rebuilt bridge over our picturesque Ten Mile Creek, they asked me what was delaying things.  I explained, because this was a little distance away from where we were and they could not really see it, that the group had stopped to allow two trumpet players from Southview High School Cougar Marching Band to join the members of the VFW at the bridge to play the classic bugle call \"Call and Answer - Taps\" before the VFW representatives excuted a 21 gun salute over Ten Mile Creek, to officially start the parade. 

This started a more personal discussion between myself and one of the ladies....about how nice it was that they were showing this respect to the veterans and troups who are serving now...she went on to tell me that her son, not much older than my youngest, is currently in training in Alabama, becoming certified to fly the Apache Blackhawk helicopter.  She also told me that his best friend will be going to Iraq soon....I looked at this woman, not much older than myself, and said to her, \"It takes a very special kind of mom to be able to support her child in this kind of choice in these times...\" to which she said, \"Yes, it does\" I said the only thing that I felt in that moment, from my heart....\"God Bless you both, for what you have chosen to do\"....she looked at me with a mix of gratitude and surprise and said, \"Thank you\"....

From that point forward, the parade was inconsequential...I began to watch....really the crowd reacted (or did not) to the veterans who took the time to participate in the parade, and to the ones who had to ride the route in cars or busses because they could not walk, but did it because it was important to them to be there.  I looked in the crowd....saw the older folks with walkers and canes...and American flags tightly clenched in hand...salutes to the flag every time it went by....respect by those who should be garnering their own....

A reality check...for all of us...we owe....a huge debt of gratitude what can never be those who willingly gave all...and all who live with the scars of their sacrifice...and to all the mothers (and fathers) and sons and daughters, who defend so we do not have to...

Hope you have enjoyed your weekend...much love to you


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big Fun

For a Thursday, things are pretty nice...the sun is out, the folks in the office are keeping it light, and "the eagle flies" today...what's not to like?

Hope yours is going well...FB contains the cool stuff....join and add me to find out more ;)

That's it for now....till later, much love to you...


Friday, May 09, 2008

Just for the sake of information....

The young one is ON THE DEAN'S LIST for this quarter...I guess he/we are doing OK without outside intervention after all....

Thanks for nothing to everyone who has not been involved...your non-support has not been appreciated.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2008 "Rooties"

GivingThe 2008 Rooties were this afternoon at Fifth Third Field. This event is a celebration of the Root values and gives Rootsters the opportunity to recognize folks who they feel are living the organizational values every day.

This year's award recipients are:

Jim Haudan, Bruce Hulbert, Brian Donovan, Tricia Richards, Sven Nelson and me ( i am still in awe of that <3) The photo at left shows what each person received, personalized with the value for which they were recognized.

This means a great deal to me because the person who gave me my first opportunity to work in IT in an official capacity is a previous recipient of the same Root award.

Just thought I would share this with you....that and the fact that the young one has successfully completed all finals and juries and is now officially finished with his freshman year as a music major at the University of Toledo. His GPA is still awesome and we are hopeful that there will be tuition assistance coming again this academic year....

That's it for now....till later, much love to you