Friday, January 27, 2017

At The Tracks

                                       you know what this says?

Today,.I took the long way to work thinking that I needed a change in scenery. Well I got it. Normally when I take this route I would see open fields, large farms, a few small businesses that are no longer open, and if I was lucky a few deer frolicking in the fields. But today all I saw was the side of a train.

As I approached the tracks I saw that the train was moving rather slowly, maybe three miles an hour in my estimation. And although waiting for trains to pass can be somehow frustrating, I wasn’t going to let this bother me as I had left a few minutes early anyway.

So I am waiting as this ridiculous train passes by, 5 min, 10 min…O ‘come on…how long is this thing?

Well, apparently each train car is between 55.5 to 58.2 feet long. So if the train had 100 cars on it, it would have been 5500 ft. long not including the space that is in between the cars. We are talking well over a mile-long train I figured. (I figured all this out as I was waiting…. but what I didn’t figure out was the time it would take for this train to pass. (I know…A mile-long train traveling at 3 miles an hour would take 20 min.) I Just didn’t think about it at the time, Instead, I was just getting frustrated. So what did I do next? I played a game of poker on my phone. What were you expecting, me to take a detour? No that’s what a person in their right mind would do. I obviously wasn’t.

So during my poker game, I happened to notice that the train was no longer moving at a snail’s pace, in fact, it wasn’t moving at all.  Are you flipping kidding me right now? Now is when I thought about taking the detour, but wait, I was in the middle of a poker game for a million dollars (um play money of course) How could I leave now? I had to make a decision quickly.

So after I finished my game I looked at my clock and it had been 25 minutes. That’s when I actually decided to leave and take a detour. I accepted the fact that I was going to be late.

Now having told this long ass story about me waiting for the train, I didn’t tell you what I saw.

What I saw while I was actually watching the train traveling at 3 miles an hour was Graffiti on the sides of the train. I have never really put much thought into the graffiti that I see on trains….but when they are moving so slow…you actually have time to read them and admire some of the artwork.

Oh wait…did I say read them?  I meant look at them and try to understand what they actually say. Because by no means could you possibly read 95 percent of them.  Which really baffles me because some of them you could tell had really good art skills. But what good does it do if no one can read them. It just looks like someone didn’t know how to spell. If I were going to put my name on a train and actually take the time and money to put in the materials that you need to do so….I would make sure everyone would be able to read my name. And it would be on the middle of the train car…not just the area I could reach. I mean there in front of you there is a blank canvas and all you can do is write on the portion that you can reach? Dude, I would so carry a ladder and keep it by the tracks somewhere so when I find the urge to write my name on a train so everyone stuck at the tracks watching the train go by could see it, They would not only see that it is as big as the train car itself…but they could obviously read that it said:


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Show Me The Love

I had this thought the other day, and I just wanted to put my thoughts down on paper, thus this blog moment.

I was just thinking how on an everyday basis we as human beings take life for granted. I know that we all have our moments in life when we realize how short life is and how important it is to be kind and loving to those who are closest to us. For example, when someone dies that we knew…then we have all sorts of thoughts about how short life really is. But I’m talking on an everyday basis, those thoughts are usually nonexistent for the most part.

Could you imaging if we didn’t take life for granted? Would we treat people better? Would we do random acts of kindness on a daily basis? What about helping those in need? Would we seek them out?

When we leave our jobs at the end of the day, we usually say goodbye to those that we work with and sometimes not even that. Or we leave our homes saying bye and I love you and maybe even a quick kiss before we head out the door.  But what if we knew it was the last time we would see them?               What would we do differently then?

Would we say something like, Hey Tom, it was great working with you today, you always make my day better and I just want to thank you for that. Would that I Love you to your loved ones be sincerer, would that quick peck on the lips turn into a heartfelt kiss from the heart? I should think that it would be.

Look, I know that this is just a thought provoking topic and we will never be able to know in advance when we would or if we would see anyone again on any given day. I do know that life happens and death happens. But sometimes I just think we as people, forget how important we all are to each other. And we don’t express how much we really love each other on a daily basis because we think that there is always going to be a tomorrow.

Shouldn’t we treat everyone as if we may never see them again? (not including the afterlife)

Ok, so glad that I got that down on paper….because that was a bit deep even for me. J

But I Love you all….and I really mean that.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Fighting For The Cause

I have never been to Washington DC before…so when the opportunity arose to do some lobbying for more research funding, I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t real excited to talk in front of congress men and women because let’s face it….I can barely remember what I said 2 hours ago let alone try and remember what bills need to be passed in order to increase funding to the N.I.H. But I figured me being the thespian that I am was, I could surely memorize some lines that would communicate our needs for more research.
My nephew Kevin who happens to live downtown DC picked me up from the airport and took me on a casual site seeing tour which consisted of the White House and the Washington monument. I was a little surprised at the fact that there were airplanes flying so close to the White House….not alarmingly close but close nonetheless. You would think that after 911 there would have been stricter airspace policies put in place. But I absolutely loved the vibe of this city….busy during the day a lot calmer at night. Easy to get around and some really great restaurants all over the town. I can see why he lives there.
Anyway…The Lupus Research institute flew us out there to lobby with them along with other organizations around the country.  They trained us in the legislation bills and also showed us what else was happening in their world. They orchestrated times for us to meet with the Congress men and women from our own states. I found it a bit frightening at first but I seemed to calm down after the first visit where I didn’t say much. After that I realized that it was just a conversation and anyone we were going to talk with was already going to know what bills we were talking about and surely knew more about them then we would on any given day. But what they were clueless on was …what Lupus really is and how it effects patients and family’s that live with it. That’s where I stepped in. This is a subject I could speak on that was close to my heart. So now they could see why these bills were so important to pass. We shall see if they were paying attention or not soon.
My favorite moment was my picture with Congress woman Candice Miller. She walked in while we were talking with her Legislative Aide. I was a little awe struck but I couldn’t let this moment pass me by without a picture.
 Congress Woman Candice Miller and I 
Marquita and I with Senator Gary Peters
Theres always time for a Selfie

Cool Sculpter in the Capital
Capitol under construction
The magnificent Executive building
The White House

Inside the dome

Not sure who these guys are but they looked important : )

Monday, July 28, 2014

Life is a BEACH Sometimes

Everyone has those embarrassing stories to tell right? Lets face it...Life is just funny sometimes.
My life is no different, and there are times when you just have to laugh at yourself.
Here's my story:

I went to Beaufort SC. for a work trip. I don't normally go on a whole lot of trips for work so when I do, I like to make the most of them. (and when the company is buying...) This trip I knew I wasn't that far away from the ocean, so my plan was to get there early and make a quick road trip to swim in the ocean.
everything was going smoothly, flights were on time, got my car rental and went directly to the hotel to check in. First question I ask far is the ocean from here? "Take this street here about 18 miles" the hotel clerk said. I get to my room and started to gather my stuff I would take with me. I searched frantically for my shorts only to find out that I forgot them at home. No big deal right? I will just find a store and buy some on the way. I start to travel with the directions the clerk gave me only to be turned around at one of the bridges where there was an accident. big deal...I just went and found a restaurant and had my company paid for lunch which included some of the freshest crab legs I have ever had and a nice cold beer.
So far so good...I continue on my way. I past a quite a few tourist shops but none that looked like they had any apparel suitable for swimming. That was until I saw this beachwear store about a mile from the beach. Its a good thing because I was beginning to think of what color underwear I was wearing and if they could be passed as beachwear.
I went inside and saw nothing but beachwear...friggin way cool. I saw some cool looking shorts that had some writing down the one leg...I didn't even bother to look at what it said...because it really didn't matter. Found a Large size and thought that I had finished my shopping in record time. I get to the car and thought to myself "You know what? I had better get some sun glasses too....if I'm going to the beach...I may as well look cool while I'm there. (I mean...I have been working out...right)
Anyway....I get to the beach and had to do some impromptu changing in the car.
Pants off....shirt off...underwear off....shorts on...shorts...on...WTF...I said Shorts ON dammit.
These shorts were not cooperating with my plans...yes..these shorts were like I was putting on a freaking dive suit. Tight as HELL. I tried every trick in the book to break them in and make them fit looser. I pulled and yanked them like nobodies business. I tried squatting but Hell no...these things would just not loosen was like they were made of spandex or something. I was faced with a decision...go like this and hope no one notices or just go back  and get a different pair of shorts. Wait...I will just cover up in my towel.
Now where is that thing...oh @#$%#@^* I DIDN'T BRING ONE...Are you kidding me right now?
I was so mad at myself...but I finally just said , screw it...I'm going....I just don't care anymore...I don't know anyone here...I can handle the looks...the stares...Ive seen worse pictures of old men at the beach in their speedos. Did I tell you that these shorts were WHITE? I honestly think these shorts were so tight you could see my skin through them. I start walking trying not to look at anyone and found a nice litter area where no one was around....within a 50 ft radius anyway. I go directly into the water and just sit there...And I must was everything I had hoped for and more...the water was warm...the sun was shorts were pinching my privates...But I just didn't care. I made it ...just like I said I was going to do.
I sat there for a good 20 minutes before I thought I had better start working my way back to shore. I was doing the crawl method and feeling around for shells in the sand...found one...a big one too...I start pulling it up to see what it looked like and all of a sudden I get this pinch on my had...SHIT...its a damn crab. I shook it off my hand and was kind of freaked out by it...not that I am afraid of crabs....just didn't know how many more were around and was unsure if I was going to step on any on my way back to shore.
So I hurriedly out of the water checking occasionally on my package to make sure it wasn't ..well you know.
I sit on the beach just wishing everyone would just leave so I could walk out with some type of dignity.
But instead...more people showed up...I hightailed it to the car.
Later I texted my wife about the incident. She laughed as well as I did about the whole event.
But it wasn't until after I get home that the real funny part happened. I was at work when I got this picture via text from her that said "Next Time PAY ATTENTION"