Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kicking the POT(S)

Four years into my bout with Hyperadrenergic Postural Othostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (Hyperadrenergic POTS), I still find myself on some days trying to cope. I have somewhat made peace with the idea that there isn't a cure, but struggle with the idea of just treating the symptoms since I am a "root cause" kind of person (type A, I know). My symptoms are all over the place. I have a better chance of chasing down my little Morkie who loves to steal my glasses than I do keeping all of my symptoms under control. One or another of them always interjects itself into my day or night.

The hardest part that I am sure anyone who lives with a chronic illness will say is adjusting to the "new" you. Learning the boundaries or limitations, telling people where you are going and when you will return, asking for help; the new me. The expression commonly said by our parents or grandparents about getting too old to do the things they once did becomes reality a little too early in life for those with chronic illness. To know the struggles that I currently have and have had for four years is one thing, but to realize that I haven't reached "old" yet makes looking forward a little dim.

One thing is for certain, however. We can adapt to our disabilities and keep doing the things we always enjoyed using those adaptations, or we can sit on the couch. I chose a long time ago to adapt. Now, I just need to get my body to play along.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Poll System and Mike Leech - Two Collegiate Travesties for 2015

Mike Leech may have a great mind when it comes to the offensive side of football, but he is a bozo when it comes to the fundamental parts, such as winning. With the ball in WSU's hand on the Stanford side of the 50 yard line, the lead, and four minutes remaining, he still had his team in "hurry up" mode and snapping the ball with 25 seconds left on the play clock. They even through a couple of passes, one which was incomplete and saved Stanford a timeout, and another which was a costly interception.

Even after failing to work the game clock and giving up the late interception, WSU still managed to hold Stanford to a field goal. Needing a field goal of their own, WSU's quarterback connected on a deep post route which put them in field goal position with a minute or so remaining. During this drive, on a third and short - real short, about a football's length - Leech still had his offense in shotgun formation with the running back about 8 yards from the line of scrimmage. He was stopped for a loss on the hand off which lead to the need of the amazing fourth down conversion by WSU's tough ass quarterback. Why not line up under center and do a sneak on third instead of putting that much pressure on your quarterback and offensive line, Mike Leech?

In the end, WSU's kicker, who was 5-5 on the night, unfortunately missed the winning field goal attempt. It should have never come down to needing a 43 yard field goal in the rain with time expiring. The "hurry up" mode should have downshifted a few gears at the four minute mark, allowing them to claim only their second win since 1941 against an AP Top 10 school.

Mike Leech, Gus Malzaln, and these other coaches who think they have an advantage in this fast-break type of football are only showing that they are not teachers of the game, not teachers of a winning strategy or fundamental football with clock management (which translates to time management when 95% of the players enter the workforce), but promoters of a strategy akin to today's societal behaviors where people take advantage of others and are not held responsible for their own failures. These kids will only attend college and play football once, and many of them will have their seasons shortened due to injury. These coaches of this kind exploit the talents of these kids and risk injury to them in an effort to glorify their coaching careers - to better their careers.

Do you think Mike Leech wants to remain at WSU? Do you think Gus Malzaln can chew his gum any faster? Maybe one of the silly signs being held up on Auburn's sideline should be a reminder to him to close his mouth while chewing. Even better, maybe an opposing team will hold a sign up on their sideline to remind him.

WSU did everything their coach asked of them last night. They let him live out his fantasy of fast-paced football through their pain, mistakes, and unsafe playing conditions. After loosing a 12-point lead, they battled back to go ahead by one. These young men did their jobs and played with heart. Mike Leech let them down. A good coach, such as David Shaw on the other sideline, would laugh at his method. The TV commentators did laugh.

With decisions such as Leech's, and this year's horrid pre-season polls that ultimately impact all teams for the rankings that will be released this week, a true NCAA Football champion will never be known. One will be crowned, sure, but the efforts of WSU, Memphis, Temple, Iowa, and others prove that the ranking system is nothing more than a lottery. Those at the top, get a chance to play while the others get to watch - just as Leech watched his team leave their hearts on the field last night in defeat because of his carefree coaching style.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Big Day Tomorrow....

After a year of kicking the idea around, my doc is inserting a port tomorrow to help me with several challenges that I have daily. While I am a little nervous about this, I know that God will oversee this and take care of me. This little procedure can be a big help to my daily living and, hopefully, keep me out of the hospital for awhile.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Property Matrix - The Most Efficient Employee in Your Office

If you own or manage multiple properties of any kind, Property Matrix is a must-have software that will help you with your daily tasks while also promoting your properties. With Property Matrix, a property manager can view one unit, multiple units, and even units at multiple locations using your mobile phone, iPad, or computer and internet connection. The software allows a person to see all of the details necessary for any unit in your database of properties. This includes vacancies, invoicing, necessary maintenance, and ensuring vendors are paid.

In addition,Property Matrix can be used to create multiple online ads that promote the available properties, allowing prospective tenants to find a home that fits their needs and then submit their applications online. The ads are quickly posted with just one click of a mouse and are submitted to multiple online resources, thus, making Property Matrix a marketing machine. Other features of this property management software are that rental payments and lease agreements can be handled electronically and securely.

As applications are received electronically through Property Matrix, each tenant is screened to ensure the best applicant takes occupancy over each vacancy available. Background screening of tenants is the most important part of narrowing down the pool of applicants. After all, the purpose of owning investment properties is to maintain a stream of income.

For more information about this time saving and problem solving software, please visit www.propertymatrix.com.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Donald

Donald Trump has announced many times in the past that he was running for the top office, only to back out later. This year, he seems to be all-in as long as he continues to get the attention and the high rating for the GOP nomination. If the truth were known, I think that he has probably surprised himself as being the forerunner, especially given all of the toes that he has stepped on - make that, crushed. But that is Donald Trump, so why does the media seemed so surprised when he hurls one of his rocks? I think they are surprised because he is able to do that and still maintain a lead.

While he is certainly more wealthy than the average citizen that will be voting, Trump is representing all Americans at this particular moment who are ready for change. Do most politicians take him seriously? No. Will he be our next President? No. But right now, he is using the platform to state all the things that you and I would like to say if we had a voice.

Do we need a wall with a big beautiful door at the Mexican border? Absolutely. Is Obamacare creating a lot of trouble for employers, doctors, and patients? Yes. That is why we had to begin filling out forms at the doctor's office which we have been going to the last 20 years. Are there problems with security? Yes. Is Rosie... well, I won't go there.

Trump is saying things that need to be said, and stepping over, through, or around the hurdles to get the issues on the table. While I do not appreciate the disrepectful, childish-type comments he has made with his name-calling, etc, I do appreciate his stating the hard truths about the condition of our country. More than anything else right now, we need to protect our borders and, then, build jobs while regaining the leadership in technology, trade, military, and the value of a dollar.

A simple person like myself would never be heard. While he may not be elected, even by me, his voice is definitely being heard and I appreciate that, Donald Trump.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dear IRS......

Please have your people consult with their co-workers before writing and mailing letters. I am a believer of too much government in the sense that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. In your case, it is a matter of Austin, TX, not knowing what Memphis, TN, is doing. Below is an abbreviated version of the work your teammates did this week:

Letter sent via USPS dated 8/13/15 and from Memphis, TN: "Thank you for making payment arrangements to resolve your account...." This letter weighed about a pound and must have cost you (or actually us, the taxpayers) a fortune to mail. Why does a thank you note have to weigh a freaking pound? But, I am honored that it meant that much to you.

Letter sent via CERTIFIED mail dated 8/17/15 and from Memphis, TN: "Notice of intent to seize...." (Note that this letter was sent after the "thank you" letter on 8/13/15.)

Letter sent via USPS dated 8/19/15 and from Austin, TX: "Thank you for using the IRS online services. If you did not, contact us at..." This is kind of a thank you and that is taken back. Or like when someone says, "I'm sorry, but.."

So to quickly audit your efforts of the last few days, you spent time, paper, and money...let's say my neighbor's money, to make it simple and real...on three letters, one weighing a pound. The first letter said thanks for the payment, the second one threatened to seize assets if we didn't pay, and the third, which came from the idiot who sent the second one, was a thank you for using your online services.

Wouldn't it had been easier and more economical to just have your online service operate in reverse and send a thank you note or confirmation as soon as the payment was made, thus, eliminating the first two letters, of which, one was an unnecessary, untimely, and unacceptable threat? You know, kind of like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Sears, Walmart, Target, my little website, and every other e-commerce site does? I would even bet that eHarmony, a dating advertisement I just saw on television, sends an immediate response electronically. And, having transactions with you IS kind of like dating...except you go directly for the screwing.

You sent three letters in less than a week, with the last one being managed by someone who must have been following Donald Trump's fiasco with Megyn Kelly and lost track of time. If the people of this great country cannot trust your office to lick a stamp and mail letters that are significant and timely, how are we to trust your MATH with our money?

Please get your stuff together - maybe create an electronic filing and communications system between your departments (it's called email, the cloud, bestmarking, private messaging, instant message, etc) - before sending me another letter. At the very least, please try to send the applicable letter in the correct chronology. In my former life working in customer service for a Fortune 500 company, this would not be tolerated. Your team, which services every social security number in the country you can acquire, should be held to higher standards than my team, which only services construction companies in the southeast. Right?

I am business savvy enough to realize the response will be that "the system did it, not a person", and I know there are "systems". There is someone in the news every day saying the system is racist, the system failed, the system didn't work. The system should have very low self esteem, and I will do my best to cheer it up if I ever bump into it.

I am also business savvy enough to realize that form letters are used, so your letters were not thoughtful, sincere, nor original. I am also smart enough to realize that someone is responsible for managing "the system" and ensuring it is working properly, including the timeliness of form letters. While the system cannot be held accountable, the person managing it can.

Again, if professionalism is expected and does exist in every small business in America, shouldn't it also exist in a branch of the American government? Shouldn't the IRS, who is never audited but can audit us, want to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible so that people trust you with their money? People have maintained the perception that you screw people for almost as long as you have been in business. That, alone, should make you want to get things right.

But, in reality, nobody in your department is aware of the stupid things you do. I'm not the only one in this 300-million-people land that received letters such as those that week. That means you were an idiot a bunch of times. Probably thousands. But you are unaware because of automation, and because you are inaccessible. I tried calling, but you do not provide much telephone support. After finally finding a number, the hold time was 30 minutes every time I called.

I guess you are busy stamping envelopes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Good For You, Tim Tebow

An NFL quarterback by NFL standards, or not, I admire Tim Tebow's determination, patience, and perseverance in pursuing his dream. Talented and committed to his physical conditioning, Tebow has remained steadfast in his stance in which position he will play on the field, if he plays in the NFL. Even after spending last season in the broadcast booth, he did not change his stance in playing quarterback. Without a doubt, he has the size, speed, and toughness to play fullback for any team, and be a starter. He has the size and hands to play tight-end. Yet, his desire to play quarterback in the NFL is so strong that he is willing to gamble not playing at all by being a third quarterback on a roster, and probably not seeing the field, at best.

In writing this, I am beginning to consider that getting paid millions to stay healthy and on the bench as a number three quarterback might not be a bad move, but a brilliant play call instead. But, Tebow is too much of a competitor to have a plan such this. Or is he? A competitor would be willing to do the difficult and to face the real challenge head on: punching the ball a few yards up the middle against a heavy front seven as a fullback. That challenge of breaking loose for the end zone or knocking a linebacker out of the way would pump up the adrenaline for most. Or what about providing pass protection for the quarterback he wants to be? However, the money and sitting on the bench, being part of something great without being physically and permanently damaged years after a long career, could also be a turn on...in a way...and a smart one. But not for a competitor, such as Tebow.

I was not a fan of Tim Tebow when he played at Florida and this was primarily because I am a University of Alabama fan. It was also because he was constantly receiving all of the air-time attention when there were many, many great players and stories from other schools that deserved equal time and recognition. It continued even after his college career was offer.

Now, however, I am a fan - not because he is Tim Tebow, or the underdog of quarterbacks, or a Christian, or because he did mission work, all of which I support. I am a fan because he is pursuing his dream and not letting the negative comments, the rejections, or even missing a season stand in the way. We need more people like Tim Tebow; people who do not take "no" for an answer. People who live under conviction of pursuing dreams, pursuing God, and not caring what people think.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Freelance Writing

So recently I have been browsing sites such as Elance and Freelance and it is amazing to me the number of people, most of whom are from third-world countries - but, still, many Americans - will write for pennies per word. The disgusting part of this is that the corporations who post these ads EXPECT, DEMAND, DRIVE, PUSH, CHEAT, STEAL, FORCE their way into getting people to do this.

For example, I submitted an offer on a job in which the "employer" specifically stated, "If you disagree with my rates ($10/500+words), tell me in your proposal. Also, tell me how many articles a day you can write."

So, I told her how many I could write, that I would write exclusively for her, and what my rate was. A week later, I received a message, conducted a Skype interview, and began writing a few hours later. In addition, I prompted her attention during the Skype interview that my rate was not the $10 she was seeking. In fact, of 25+ applicants, nobody's rate was that low. They ranged from $20 to over $800. I was in the bottom third.

Now, that I have written four articles and the bill has been delivered, the "employer" read her ad back to me about the $10/500 words. Of course, I read my offer back to her, which had been formally accepted through the Elance platform. Still, she declined my offer. So guess what? Now, I am taking necessary action to either get paid or stop my articles from being used.

To think that someone in this country would research and then write for two hours for $5/hour is crazy. It is also disrespectful to take advantage of the poor in other countries, but they do it, those desperate for money accept it, and that is why it is insulting to us. We have more than we need; do we think we are too good for less?

While pondering over that question, I used the internet to find my posting articles and contact the webmasters, who promptly removed them.

Friday, August 7, 2015


In just a few months, it will be time to visit Mother Nature and enjoy all her beauty. The greatest thing about hunting with a bow is that one gets to spend more time watching and listening than actually shooting. This down time gives us an opportunity to really study nature and how it works. A beautiful place, no elected governing body; yet peace, harmony and freedom still exists.

I know that I have learned more about myself and my God just by sitting there, watching and listening. Give it a try sometime, and bring a camera if you do not wish to hunt. The positions and poses that you might catch in that one moment under that one ray of light, if you are quick enough to do so, will never be the same again.

Friday, July 24, 2015

360 degrees

I have had the outdoors on my mind all week and mounting my new scope on my rifle last night only brought back memories to last season when I spent quality time with my closest friends on several trips to the great outdoors. One of these trips lead to my greatest accomplishment of my life - a very nice buck.

However, I began this morning with college football on my mind - perhaps after dreaming about a Yeti cooler last night. Yes, my focus shifted from my scope to reflecting on last hunting season to dreaming about Yeti coolers. If you interpreted all of that, here is more: shortly after my feet hit the floor, I received an invitation to the Buckmaster's Expo next month, so my mind was back on hunting. Full circle. But, before you call me nuts or say I may suffer from ADD, I received THE catalog from Red Head today which furthered my thoughts of climbing a tree or pitching camp. I am not talking about their little fall magazine either. I mean the big book. 600 pages.

So, while I may have a slight case of ADD, I believe it was meant to be. Scope, memories, cooler, football, hunting, catalog. Yep, that is destiny. It is 100 degrees outside, but 35 degrees with an earthly scent in my mind.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Confederate Flags Removed

What are your thoughts about the confederate flag debates the last few weeks? South Carolina removed it from their capital building. I am having a hard time understanding how this symbol of the Civil War is offensive to some. In fact, it was this war that ended slavery; a war in which white people fought and died. It placed brothers against brothers in some cases and was a monumental time in our nation's history.

I would hope that those who are offended would just try to change their perception a bit. How about instead of viewing the flag as a reminder of slavery, view it as a reminder of freedom. It is not about racism, so that should never be part of the conversation. If it were, then the white race would not have lost lives to help free the black race.

I will tell you now that I have many black friends, so please do not just call me a racist without putting deep thought into my questions or because I do not understand the offense created by the flag. Should one say, "Well, every time I see the flag, it reminds me of my ancestors who were slaves." To that I would ask, "Do you think of Martin Luther King's murder every time you see a parkway named after him?"

I believe the answer to that would be how he fought for equality, his famous speech, and many other positive thoughts - not the negative ones. You see, we make our own decisions as to what triggers our emotions and associations. So why cannot one choose to associate the flag as a positive thought - freedom?

Let us all work together to make this world better; to change our perceptions; to help others change theirs. Change mine if I am wrong, but do not criticize. Help me understand.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Congratulations, Dale Earnhardt, Jr!

I do not know how race car drivers put the past behind them, as the famed Dale, Jr. has regarding his dad's death on the very track in which he won this weekend. Ironically, the last lap of this race included a very bad accident involving another #3, Austin Dillon, as the 2001 race did which cost Dale, Sr. his life. Dillon, the grandson of Richard Childress, teamowner of the #3 both then and now, climbed out of the mangled car bruised. After Dale, Sr's, crash, the #3 was retired and Childress said, "You will never see #3 on another car." I guess grandchildren not only consume hearts, but they make you forget about one's promises and maybe even the hearts of others.

I wonder how Dale, Jr. really feels about seeing the #3 again, passing by it lap after lap, seeing the horrific crash Childress's young grandson survived. Sure, Childress seeked Dale, Jr's blessings before the unveiling, but I doubt one ever gets over the loss of their parent, especially when they worked together.

An interview prior to Sunday's race with Dale, Jr. and Steve Letarte consisted of them watching film together of Dale's first win at Daytona. One could tell that Dale was holding the tears back as he relived a race in which he won. It was, indeed, a touching moment followed by excellent comments from first-year broadcaster Letarte, who was Earnhardt, Jr's crew chief for a few years. If the emotion of watching his victory overcomes him, we can only guess at what he feels each time he passes turns 3 and 4 of Daytona.

Congratulations, Dale, for winning the race, beating the emotions that probably told you to quit racing, and for creating your own legacy. You are greatly admired. I could not do that.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, America. Like a family, may our own internal challenges make us better, while our differences remain invisible to those outside...to those who think from afar, "AMERICA!"

America. A country so beautiful and full of opportunity that people are willing to walk for days in the very hot temperatures of a desert, or paddle an old wooden boat across the ocean, to get to this free place, while some who are already here are leaving to join those who wish to destroy America.

I wonder what those risking their lives to get here would say to those leaving in hopes of hurting us, if they ever meet on the trail and had coffee.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Have You Tried This Diet?

My daughter will be getting married soon, so I will be trying to loose some weight. If I remember, I will post the results back to you. I have already heard from other men and women that it works. I tried a 3-day diet once, and I lost weight, but it was because I was hungry for the three days.

I have heard this is a balanced diet, mixing proper foods and exercise. It is not free, but certainly is cheap for the info one receives. Click on the image below for details should you be interested in joining me, and leave comments on your progress. I'm getting hungry already........

The 3 Week Diet

New Store

I just wanted to let everyone know that I launched a new store this week. Please stop by and visit it here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dad, Happy Father's Day

Last week I wrote an article about taking my dad to a local sporting clays facility and reuniting him with his old shotgun. The back story of this gun is that it originally belonged to my dad's brother who was killed while approximately 30 years old. Being the only remaining son, Dad inherited this shotgun.

I remember hearing all kinds of hunting stories as a kid; my dad loved this shotgun. It is a Remington 878 Automaster and was later replaced by the Remington 1100. Remington made this shotgun from 1958 to 1963 if I remember correctly, with dad's being manufactured in 1960. He hunted with it every weekend as I was growing up.

Dad lost interest in hunting approximately 25 years ago and at the same time, the shotgun began to misfire. With problems continuing after several cleanings, I finally took it to a gunsmith shortly afterwards. I used the shotgun on the first dove hunt I went to after picking it up from the gunsmith. The gunsmith said, "It just needed a good cleaning." After firing it only a few times, the same problems began again. It would not cycle properly and sometimes it would fire unexpectedly. Dad later gave the shotgun to me as a keepsake and it has been in my safe for years.

As last week's article mentions, I decided to give the shotgun one more try when my brother and I surprise Dad with a trip to the sporting clays range. Gunpowder literally fell out of it as I pulled the gun apart. I soaked the parts in cleaner for hours, used compressed air to dry it, and carefully re-assembled it being careful with just the right amount of oil.

Today, I fired a box of shells through it without any issues at all. I was about 80% on the clays and quickly learned why my dad was so crazy about this smooth, light, and quick firing shotgun. It also reminded me of my own younger years when I, beginning around 8 years old, would take this gun squirrel hunting almost every morning. Dad taught me firearm safety and trusted me at a very early age. I never wanted to let him down and as far as I know, I never did. Well, there was that time I shot the window out of his car by accident - a rare car at that - but I'll save that for another story.

I know my pop is not reading this so I can proudly tell my readers, the 55 year old shotgun is going to be reunited with my 77 year old dad for Father's Day. My dad and "his boys" are going to shooting clays.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Not sure what to get Dad on his special day? I, personally, love to give gift cards and...uhmm..receive them, too! They are so easy to buy now as well as deliver if you do not live near the recipient. Just email it!

See this Amazon Gift Card selection and take care of your special one. Select from one of Amazon's previously created ones, or use your creativity to design your own. Make it special. Make it Amazon.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Father's Day is Right Around the Corner!

Nobody beats Amazon with shipping time, so if you are a last minute shopper as I am, be sure to click the link above and take care of your dad or father-in-law on their special day. Now, Amazon is not going to have firearms or ammunition as I reference in the story below, but they will have the associated accessories your dad needs to enjoy the great outdoors and a trip to the sporting clay range. Also, new or used, you will find great deals on tools for DIY projects if, like me, you enjoy those!

Recently, some friends from church and I went to a sporting clay range that recently opened. This was my first time of visiting such a place, but I scored fairly well considering I had not fired my Beretta shotgun since becoming ill almost four years ago. In addition to the fun with my church guys, almost all stations were shaded by tall pines and were connected by a winding narrow gravel road. Golf carts were used to travel from station to station and provided us with the opportunity to soak in the great outdoors, nature's beautiful streams, rocks, and small waterfalls, all from the seat of the cart.

After returning home, I had this great idea of taking my dad there for Father's Day. Now, this is not going to be easy as my dad does not get out much, but I know how much he used to enjoy a good dove shoot. Another challenge is that he gave me his shotgun, a Remington 878 Automaster, several years ago so I know he will use being "a little rusty" as an excuse to try to stay home. The final challenge is that this shotgun, around 70 years old, has a tendency to fire when IT wants to instead of when the trigger is pulled.

I did some research on this shotgun and learned that only ~70k of these were made and they were made for approximately five years. The Remington 1100 eventually replaced them. During this research, I was able to find a schematic to how this thing is assembled. Now, this firing issue has been a problem for many years. In fact, it lead to dad retiring the gun. We have cleaned the powder residue from it ourselves and have had it professionally cleaned. However, with this schematic, I feel that I will be able to take it apart and thoroughly clean the remnants of the thousands of shots it has fired in its life. This shotgun is still in mint condition on its exterior and barrel bore, so it is imperative that I get the firing order repaired in time for our trip to the sporting clays range.

To make this day even more memorable, my brother is going with us. Dad does not know about the trip and his soon to be reunion with his old shotgun. And, no, he want find out here. He does not know about my blog, and would not read it even if he did as he is not one with the patience to read.

If you are not fortunate enough to have your dad or pop around physically, I am sure he is with you spiritually. Use the coming days to reflect on your past memorable times, perhaps your trips to the sporting clay range. Talk to him, laugh a little, cry a little.