Extra Points – Back to the Future

This week’s focus point…  14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

Back to the Future

As we were driving home last night from Easter dinner with Barb’s parents, I was playing the 1980’s classic album Sports by Huey Lewis & The News on my iPhone. My friends Lee and Curt and I wore out that cassette tape on a post-high school graduation trip to California in 1983, but that story is for another time.

My mind wandered to another Huey Lewis song that was a track on Back to the Future in 1985. I was reminded of a Facebook post from my nephew Kyle recently that stated that next year (2015), we will be as far away from Marty McFly (the Michael J. Fox character in the movie), as Marty was to 1955 (where he took the DeLorean back to).

Wow.

For people of my generation and older, that realization is stunning. Time flies fast and furious when you allow days to turn into weeks; weeks to turn into months; and months to turn into years. Spring is in full bloom and perhaps this is a good time to be reminded to stop and smell those proverbial roses. Or, maybe a better way to say it is to just slow down and be in the moment. I often catch myself racing around for a day and before I know it, it’s gone. Too much of life and opportunities are at your disposal when you are simply paying attention to what is happening right here and now. Be in the moment in your conversations, your activities, and your business, and the lives of those you love. That way, you won’t ever be in need of going back in time and wondering where it all went….

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”
~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Join my new weekly  Unleashed Google ON AIR Hangout today at 12 pm PST / 3:00 PM EST. This will be our topic of discussion. It’s free, it’s cool; and your invited. Come join us and bring your questions and observations to this week’s topic.

Going from Blue to Blue

I woke up this morning on Day 2 of a cold that I seemed to catch somewhere between San Francisco and Seattle. As I slowly woke up with two dogs laying next to me (Barb was long gone to work), I read my email and checked some news on my iPhone. I was struck by the photos of the victims and missing from the Oso, WA tragic mud slide of last weekend. I know that area well, as it’s on the way to my old hometown and where my in-laws reside. I never knew what kind of danger lurked in that peaceful place. As I pondered the loss, devastation, and frailty of life, I turned to get out of bed and looked outside. My house has a greenbelt behind it and so my view is a landscape of trees and blue sky. Today, there was a visitor.

This beautiful azure jay was sitting on a limb just outside my window. He seemed close enough to touch! I know it’s not a “blue jay,” but I can’t remember it’s species. I see them out and around and I’ve collectively dubbed him Blue. Original, huh?

The timing of this sighting was providential. I was about to rise and start the day in a bad mood – sick with a cold, and sad from the tragedy. Blue changed that with just one look. I was happy he stuck around long enough for me to snap his photo. Fortunately, Captain Jack was still snoring and wasn’t chasing him away. I thought if Blue could lift my spirits, maybe he could add to your day, too…

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© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

The Dog Planet by Captain Jack

Captain JackHello. My name is Captain Jack and I’m the terribly charming, witty, and intelligent pal of my human, Dan. I’ve been observing human behavior and have come to the conclusion that you all can learn a lot from dogs. Especially me. You see, I’m a Jack Russell and we are unquestionably the smartest dogs on the planet. Welcome to my column…

We had people over to our house to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. I guess that’s one thing I still don’t understand. Every day is a day we should celebrate, not just the passing of the 12th month of a calender made up by humans thousands of years ago who didn’t even own an iPhone. But I digress…

One of our neighbors that came to visit was sitting on my favorite green chair. I want to be clear that I’m not a selfish dog. I’m more than happy to share with others , especially when we get to share together. Humans are a little funky about this. She was sitting there with plenty of room for me to wedge myself in, so I just jumped up and decided to insinuate myself into the chair. I was immediately chastised by Dan who shooed me off the chair and into the corner blanket. After several minutes, I decided to make another attempt…now it was a matter of principle. I didn’t even get to within 3 feet before the stern reproach of “Jack…” was heard, leading me to avoid the chair and return to my corner.

Here’s the deal…

I may have failed in my attempts to reclaim my favorite spot, but I remain undaunted. We dogs don’t know the meaning of failure. We chalk it up to learned experiences. Believe me, I will have a new plan of attack for the next person sitting in my green chair! The guy Dan listens to all the time tells him that “if you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” No kidding. I could have told him that, but I’m just “the dog!”

So you can listen to me. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying. If you fail, learn from the failure and go try again. If you fail a whole lot of times, then you are getting smarter. If you fail doing the same thing over and over, that’s just dumb. Keep trying, but always keep trying new ways to succeed. That’s what I do and it works for me and my fellow canines. It will work for you, too.

© 2014 Captain Jack. All Rights Reserved (WOOF)

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Cover Art

Perspective

Yesterday was a crazy day. In order…

  1. I lost my keys after basketball practice (I volunteer for the local high school team). I found myself standing in the snow waiting to get them delivered from the person whose car I had dropped them in while waiting for the gym to open. This little fiasco put me about 45 minutes behind in my day.
  2. It seemed like everything I attempted to do or complete had something pop up that threw it for a loop.
  3. My 85-year old dad who is struggling with cancer got an infection on his leg. We needed to take him down to the doctor to have it checked and get an antibiotic. It was lightly snowing, but not sticking. By the time we got out of the doctor’s office and had the prescription filled, it was an all-out blizzard.
  4. Cars on the highway were backed up and couldn’t get up either of the hills to my parents house. Barb (my wife) and I decided it would be best to stop at the local Dairy Queen to stay warm, use the facilities, and eat while the mess cleared up.
  5. The mess didn’t clear up. After hauling my parents into the DQ, after eating we hauled them out of the DQ (no small effort), loaded them into my dad’s car which I was driving and gave it a try.
  6. As we started up the hill, I saw a line of cars just like the ones I was driving on the side of the road. They had made the attempt up the hill without success. I pulled over into a local business parking lot and called my friend and client who has a truck to see if he could help us. He was still in town luckily and braved the traffic and storm to get us.
  7. We hauled my parents out of the car in what was amounting to a blizzard, loaded them up and into Kevin’s truck, and he plowed up the hill to their home and we deposited them there.
  8. Kevin then drove me home because neither my car at parents house, or my dad’s car were going to get me home.
  9. I ended up at home alone with the dogs, without Barb and without my car.

The dogs and I decided to watch Netflix and turned on a Ken Burns documentary on World War II. As I watched the scenes and interview of a person who was in the Bataan Death March in the Philippines in 1942, I managed to gain some perspective on my day…

  1. My keys were actually found. I didn’t have to make a whole set of new ones or walk home. The time and worry inconvenience was minor.
  2. The minor distractions of my work day are not fatal. They are minor distractions.
  3. My dad got his antibiotic in time to get working. Barb is with them to make sure their care is being well taken care of.
  4. I have a terrific friend who had the means and motivation to help us in our hour of need.
  5. I was at home with two dogs I love, a hot bowl of soup, a glass of wine, a brownie for dessert, and watching television. A large part of the county didn’t have power and of me writing this still doesn’t. There are many who own no home and have no food or shelter.

I get all of this, even when I’m going through the challenges. It seems to be much easier to understand it clearer after the fact when you are comfortable. I am happy for the constant reminders God seems to throw my way, like the Bataan Death March scene in the documentary, to jolt me back to reality.

As we head closer to Thanksgiving, I find myself with much to be thankful for. The majority of it lies with abundance of family, friends, health, and comfort. We all face major and minor challenges during our day, but if we can keep perspective of where we actually COULD be, then we will realize that we are actually quite lucky. If you are reading this on the Internet, I would automatically place you into a similar situation as me. Granted, I don’t know your own personal or professional challenges, but if you are reading a blog post online, my guess is you have more than most of the world. Heck, my dogs live better than most of the world!

Here’s to a little perspective…Cheers!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved