MAX-GREAT WEDDING! Headlines Ten Day Tour Triumph

wedding-tablelight

Starting a road trip with an enormously fun and significant familial event—nephew Paul and Kaitlyn’s wedding, after ten years of togetherness—is now my favorite way to ensure a top quality experience no matter what.

I completed a very personal, mas macho drive of 15 hours and 790 miles late Monday evening, through constant on-off rain, some extra heavy downpours with accidents in West Virginia- including three semis- and a car at end of the bridge at Lake Norman as I got back to Charlotte. Never a bad idea to give thanks about safe traveling, wedding was an event that kicked trip off superbly though.

Around here (NC) they count a lot of things as being ‘blessed’. 1,870 safe miles as ‘lucky’, that’s  never a bad thing either.

Taking I-81 north through PA to I-88 and coming up the back route to Schenectady, NY, made early driving cross-country on North Carolina-Virginia roads a relative pleasure– 88 rode like a square wheel for most of 120 miles. On that long return trek, I confess to a bit of pucker factor– from the turn to Charlotte at Ft. Chiswell alllll the rest of 135 miles back– through mountain downhills behind windshield-obscuring spray off trucks, faster than I really wanted to roll. I cheered a lone biker’s pulling off and (hopefully) finding a hotel for shelter, and fact brother Dave and I put new brakes on front of Bullitt2 just three weeks ago got an Amen as well.

After chopping a local course into small, small pieces for 9 holes that first Tuesday, (whacking) a bucket Friday confirmed I was getting proper training for what should become a primary factor in my Next Gig. Having to improve your long game as part of any career requirement is far from onerous.

As a road trip, I was quite precise on hitting time and place goals based on dead reckoning and experience, even working my way through ‘The Lotta Trucks State’, Pennsylvania. Being shotgun on 3-day pilgrimages to Florida meant something tangible growing up, specifically reading (and refolding) maps for Dad, and competence on knowing where I am makes all travel less hellish for me.

As an exceptional opportunity to relax from all responsibilities– especially primary care and companion for an 84-year old mother still in independent care– upstate New York with bro and family was exactly what the doctor ordered. That well-struck medium bucket of balls before a rainy Friday afternoon (of two days) at Saratoga racetrack just punctuated the schwang! appeal of all things Good About Vacation happening so close to plan. With plenty of thinking time both ways, this last ten days was a pivot point, and while having to improve my game as part of a second career requirement isn’t a tough situation, that’s part of a new One Thing on my mind.

The decision to attend Panthers training camp in Spartanburg, SC on Sunday afternoon instead of a planned attendance this very soggy Thursday morning isn’t The One Thing, nor does it signal anything about a fan-factor lacking. I’ll miss the big Fan Night in stadium Friday night too, but I’m really looking forward to watching a real practice. Like Elijah Hood, local Charlotte guy now in Panthers training camp said, I’ve never taken the opportunity all these years, and I arrived in 1995, same as the Panthers. If seeing DJ Moore go high for a bullet from Cam and then run away from a safety happens on a sunnier Sunday, so be it.

Run CMC (McCaffrey) should be on display about any time he’s in and you watch a handful of plays during this sorting of other talent in Spartanburg. Starting out, any estimates about his potential reception numbers in 2018 are considerable– 100 seems safe, or at least not that outrageous. I want to see that guy up close.

The Reality of primary care returned early Tuesday morning, waiting for a Spectrum tech to fix Mom’s cable (yay! for job handled well), shopping, and getting her meds machine refilled and back on right routine.  Its not a grind after vacation, still what has to happen so someone else’s life rolls well, too. In a most positive fashion, that weekend of wedding and allll that came with it family-wise– that entertaining and Goodness we shared– that’s important to what makes Life, and of course VACATION, a great time to relax and be satisfied to the max. The very best to the newlyweds a-course.

Conversely, not so much relaxing for all those football players wanting jobs in Spartanburg, and fans will want to see the offense Friday night. Sunday will still be a good day to pursue a sportswriter and fan’s basic question: How do things look right now?

newcastlesFrom behind new sunglasses acquired for Saratoga track wear, I gotta tell you, that view is flat out Cool. Bring on the Next.

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Sports, ‘It’s against the Methodists’, POV about doubling down on mistakes

annual baseball game

Okay, home runs are usually considered ‘long balls’, although 315′ down the line in Charlotte isn’t that strong a poke. This piece is kind of long, maybe find a seat in the shade and take your time with it.

Sports have always provided an array of metaphors for all situations, ie. ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’, and we generally know where someone is going with a reference.  In a political climate where it seems nobody is capable/willing to allow aaaaanyone wearing another kind of team uniform aaaany slack, perhaps some sports POV will be acceptable.

At all events there is an arbiter, a referee or official of some kind, who decides smaller issues that arise– in softball or baseball its an umpire. Elementally they proclaim balls and strikes, out or safe decisions, and rules infractions, but allowing the participants talents and efforts to determine final results. Having umpired softball for several years, my goal was honestly to keep control and move things along in the spirit of the game. Sure, there was an element of power, but it’s just a game. Situations worth a hmmm…

“It’s against the Methodists” and Doubling down on mistakes – Getting the ground rules for each field is part of an umpire’s ability to make correct calls. One night in Tampa, there was a 2-3 section of chain link fence along the left field line, an HR if ball was over, but catching for out was possible. Quickly assessing the distance, the next question was about the Mercy Rule (10 runs ahead after other team bats). The player smiled, winked at me and said, “Yeah, usually, but this is the Methodists.”

Tonight I’m in field, plate ump calls a short guy out on a pitch in the dirt, he pounds his bat once heading to dugout. I look down to check Out indicator, turn around and three guys are holding Mongito from rushing other ump. Two seconds later he forfeits the game, while I’m still hustling across a dirt infield to find out what happened.

“He swore,” says the ump, “so I threw him out of the game. For threatening me and all this, that’s end of game.” Turns out Spanish guy said “Jesus!” around his chaw of tobacco heading to dugout, and when other players said, “The ump threw you out of the game!” all hell broke loose. He took a bad call and escalated it dramatically, screwing the other team unreasonably in 1-2-3 order.

It seems a legitimate example of how Prez and Congress– specifically GOP—are going after things, and gawd! it sucks to have your ass kicked by insanely bad policy or flat out greed. Religious rigidity shouldn’t be superimposed on government, THAT is a tenet fully formed and laid out in Constitution.

Runner interference and Running wild must stop – Girls game, runners on 1st and 2nd, two outs. Batter hits a high pop-up to shortstop, runner from 2nd runs *right next to her*, she drops it, ball gets thrown around, ends with runner on 3rd and two scores. I mutter (and I’m laughing now, because it’s a truly memorable call) “Geez, I’d probably want to protest that play.” Catcher quickly turns to look at me while holding up hand to stop pitcher. They conference on mound, catcher comes back, asks for protest, I rule interference, inning ends, manager is stunned by no runs, but it’s the righter outcome. (If you want to call it ‘leaking’, I’d still be good with that.)

It’s an arc pitch girls league, and one team is clearly superior. One softball rule is you can’t lead, but once ball passes plate, you can steal—so Good team is going constantly on weak catcher, ball is getting thrown all over, miscues ensue, runs score, its getting ugly early. This became one of few times I injected myself into situation beyond usual ‘mandate’ if you will.

When catcher caught ball, I said “Ask for time,” she did, I granted it, then said, “Throw the ball to the pitcher,” and then I called time in again– every pitch rest of inning. Other manager came out between innings and asked what I was doing, because “this is a running league.” My response-verdict was “Not tonight,” because nothing would be gained OR FUN for Lesser team to be pounded and routed for three innings. I felt responsible for doing something that spirit of the game required versus allowing one side to absorb brutality, and while I never worked in that league again, I never considered that a bad decision. (Hey Congress, stop the incredibly negative outcomes of stealing from the ‘regular’ people via tax breaks and killing BENEFITS.)

Back-to-back-to-back badness, Blind in one eye – Of course there are bad umps. I’m at plate, other guy has called batters safe-out and out-safe in a make up call at first. Missed it so bad, I told him only way to save situation was ask for assistance on call, and then I put a hole in team batting by calling 2nd guy out.

They tie game anyway, next inning a batter hits high fly to right, guy is playing him like he’s King Kong, runs in and takes ball on short hop, batter is hustling, its bang-bang play at 2nd, other ump turns around and shrugs/puts up hands. I have to make the call from home plate, and I saw glove making foot tag before batter got to bag. I wind up tossing guy because he *does* say words that historically earn that.

Pitcher keeps missing outside (medium pitch league), and in 3rd inning I clued catcher to tell his pitcher he keeps missing by 2-3”. I keep sending people to first, fifth or sixth inning pitcher really complains, because “I’ve been putting it in same spot all night, you keep calling balls ump!” I step out, take off mask, and remind him, “One of us needs to change then, right?” Turns out pitcher is actually blind in one eye (a malady often attributed to umpires), which is why he kept cocking his head looking at catcher. He couldn’t SEE that edge of plate, so constantly felt *I* had to be wrong.

If you don’t get the analogy of trying to have a discussion with a Trumpie, God help you.

Pooh-pooh a neighbors pie-in-the-sky & kumbaya, but MILLIONS of people showed up

realworld w-curtsteph

There’s always something wrong with idea of someone gunning down a bunch of others, and an extraordinary number of those events have occurred in 2018. Since my earliest, formative years in a very effective Linton High School (Schenectady, NY) journalism program, I have always identified as a Writer, but I didn’t feel quite the same about those newspaper people being killed as the slaughter Las Vegas had to shake you. It was apparently good(?) old-fashioned ‘crazy guy with a long-term grudge and a shotgun’ killing vs. ducks in a barrel, blazing away version of FEAR that carnage in Vegas was. Does it mean it was LESS mindless and more about the gun? Guy thought about situation for YEARS before deciding *this* was the day to take revenge.

Being a periodista (journalist) brings no additional grief to the situation for me. I have no connection to journalists who were killed, just a feeling that if we back off the idea any of it is acceptable, a piece of what so many died for comes into question. Watch ‘Gettysburg’‘Gettysburg’ on PBS if you get a chance, *that* was a country in full-out hate for what the other half represented, and bloodshed! Gettysburg is on record for 52,000-plus dead and wounded in three days, and makes what’s happening now seem like piddelisky.  I told that to a language student many months ago, and still believe its true—crazy bad as I think Trump and GOP and minions have ravaged this country, those high school kids from Stoneman Douglas didn’t set the bar on civil action and effectiveness, the Vietnam War did.

THE GOOD THING is, there were over  700 protest marches

across the country this weekend regarding the mess with children being taken from asylum-seeking parents on the border,  and thousands being kept in cages, no matter how regular the food, or comforting a mylar wrap might be to cry in at night.

Deterrent tactics finally stopped? Great, and the world is still watching, America. The world cared about those Thai soccer players stuck in flooded caves for 18 days because they were KIDS.  Caring for children is a universal concept,  and if U.S. border fiasco is about changing focus on Russia, better let the World Cup lead.

MILLIONS of people showed up in *reallllly* hot conditions to make it known this is where the line was– and that ALWAYS counts.

Knowing LOTS of people still care about what comes between us 1-1 in this country also means win-lose on every stinking thing is unnecessary, and yes, civility could be part of that. No wedding cake for gays, no service for unpopular Sarah H.? Relax people, doctors tell you not to sweat the small stuff, and as the book says, it’s ALL small stuff. Save real indignation for your voting rights being curtailed.

Are exact numbers involved in marches required? Not by me, maybe because I still say, ‘great 11 or 12- mile bike ride’ without caring how far I rode in 94 degree heat lately. The people I talked to while getting gas, they seemed to feel a similar vibe—that this weekend showed we’re not being alone in thinking “We have to draw the line *somewhere* or this country doesn’t stand for what I was always taught it was about.”

It’s true that you only miss something when its gone, and that sense of living together instead of constantly trying to beat another faction into believing the same negative way- or more often fearing any and all others- I think I saw that again this weekend. It might have taken some prodding—and pooh-pooh a neighbors pie-in-the-sky, kumbaya crapola all you want– but MILLIONS of people showed up in *reallllly* hot conditions to make it known this is where the line was– and that ALWAYS counts.

Of the many gathered at a SouthPark orchestral concert in Charlotte Sunday evening, a sense of peace came with many picnic baskets and the ambiance of being together in relatively quiet circumstances, with family, friends, and potential friends, sharing a hot but joyful evening.

Watch Robin Williams and Maria Conchita Alonso in ‘Moscow on the Hudson’ —being part of America, it still means something for those who come from all over. There’s ZERO chance of coming up with more workable immigration policy-wise when one half of this current House wants only their policies to stand while razing the other half, but the choice isn’t MS-13 *or* wall at the border. America is still about dreams, even if for some that dream is as small as keeping their children alive.

 

‘Hey, don’t do that (protesting) anymore’ OR ELSE isn’t going to work in NFL

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The Panthers have always done a great job of showing the love to veterans. Full field-length flag was at home openers 2016.

For anyone who thought NFL players creating awareness by protesting a specific situation– the killing of young black men by police officers that seemed almost epidemic in 2016– in this country could be ‘fixed’ by executive fiat and fines, there’s going to be a long period of trepidation before the first pre-season game.

For starters, there’s that First Amendment (freedom of speech) thing, and if the Founding Fathers decided to put it atop the amendment list ahead of possessing firearms, it probably deserves real consideration. The chances all 53 members of every team will 100-percent agree on a choice between staying in the locker room OR standing at attention during the anthem is slim, and slapping that on the table without any input from NFLPA was a move that’s unlikely to produce lock-step acceptance. Many factors can cause regular people to hide their feelings, *demanding* they do it OR ELSE is another thing.

As recently acquired wide receiver Torrey Smith of the Panthers put it:

“The whole reason guys were protesting was to draw awareness to something. To take that away and be, ‘Hey, don’t do that anymore,’ like you’re anti-American or something like people try to paint – it is very frustrating to continue to see that false narrative.”

That the opportunity to play professional sports is a fairly limited one is obvious, and every player who has taken a knee to protest like Colin Kaepernick did knows they were doing something that would certainly be unpopular or have negative effects. Especially for players with ‘short resumes’, the choice between possibly sticking somewhere or putting it on the line and going back to a less glorious job seemed a no-brainer.

The Panthers brought Torrey Smith to Carolina because he is a fast, experienced receiver and while they might not have known his outlook before, he has both abilities and rights. Don’t count on Coach Ron Rivera – who has a very strong military background in his family – to put Smith back on the market for being outspoken. Communication, probably privately, produces understanding the vast majority of the time, and Rivera has a reputation for being a ‘players coach’.

For the record, veteran defensive end, Julius Peppers, was the only Carolina Panthers player to remain in the locker room during the national anthem last year.

What they’re NOT doing is disrespecting the flag or U.S. military, and Smith isn’t only one who is frustrated about how that false narrative has eclipsed the original intention of personal, *silent* protesting. Even Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villaneuva, admitted he was embarrassed about not being with his teammates in the locker room. Many felt he was standing tall because of his service as a Ranger in Afghanistan, but the Steelers understood he missed the boat on staying in locker room, not that he was trying to show anyone up.

President Trump recently dis-invited the NFL champion Eagles– of which Smith was a part last year– to the White House because many players publicly stated intentions not to attend. Several teams have stated similar feelings about the trip to White House situation – including the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Protesting via civil disobedience is going to happen – in Charlotte and elsewhere – not just as a knee jerk response, but with a strengthening of resolve: “This was mostly over, but…” in Smith’s words.  How new Panthers owner David Tepper reacts to any protesting – as both he and the Panthers organization are strongly involved in community service – will probably involve a meeting of the minds. New York Jets co-owner Christopher Johnson seems to have the best grip on protesting, stating he will pay any fines for players who kneel, because the prohibition was instituted without NFLPA coordination.

For fans throughout the NFL, its doubtful booing those who stand, stay in locker rooms, or kneel will affect them, and Kaepernick might well win a ton of money on the alleged collusion of owners to keep him unemployed, when someone like a (retired) Jay Cutler became the Dolphins quarterback at $10M for a sub-par effort.

If President Trump continues to amp the protesting situation, or somehow counts on owners to bench/cut players based on a specious factor that infringes on their team’s ability to win football games, that will show just how far anyone, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is willing to go to– well, KNEEL— to his interpretation of events.

Memorial weekend starts Year 24 in Charlotte: Knee solution was truly The One Thing

pooltop office

While I’ve never believed an orderly desk and mind were necessarily linked, there’s no doubt that biking and writing are for me.

This Memorial weekend is my 23rd anniversary in Charlotte, and having successfully rolled into my second career at sixty-one, consistently completing content writing ‘gigs’ and blogs has become a scheduling priority. Being involved with a senior’s care demands hours be invested regularly as well, so for people who say ‘time on task’ is necessary to produce desired results, YES! 

While Mom questioned ‘Where’s my Carolina sunshine?” at lunchtime yesterday, I’d had no problem committing an overcast morning to finish another piece for my current sportswriter-blogging gig (FanSided/CatCrave) before getting out on a 16 mile bike ride. It’s a well-documented truth that discipline is what makes the difference in one’s ability to run on a desirable time track, and becoming the proverbial ‘good person’ who lets non-crucial activities encroach on actions constituting productivity is the downside.

Doing a sixteen mile loop out W.T. Harris to Idlewild, through Mint Hill-Matthews and back in on Monroe Rd. works fine for fitness, but 700 words about the Panthers draft picks being ready for submission comes first.

Time block combinations are tough to maintain in an 8-5 work world, especially relative to senior care involving appointments, walks, ‘emergencies’, and lunch times.  As an ever-expanding pool of telecommuters, ‘giggers’, and entrepreneurs of all stripes already know, anyone who considers working for themselves ‘ideal’ needs to set a higher bar regarding personal dedication to project completion.

The left knee replacement I’ve mentioned several times since December was THE ONE THING decision that fixed my humbling gimpy-ness as completely as I’d hoped it would.

The point with ONE THINGS is how attaining them changes elements downstream from that point.  My recovery wound up spilling over into helping with Mom’s needs after a hospital stay– and dovetailed  well with a writing career which I’m confident about being professionally well-equipped and enthusiastic about.  It’s been a goodness that’s flowed pretty straight ahead once the best decision (replacement) was actually made.

Riding has been a constant for years because it didn’t hurt to pedal while keeping me fit, and whenever I’ve listened to that knee for negatives since replacement, I continue to get a clear message that all is fine. Re-adding other sports– including a possibility of golf/travel writing that’s appeared on horizon– to the bike riding means I can go forward without physical fears, which is obviously a major improvement.

****

annual baseball game

Right field foul pole is a cozy 315 ft. Last time our group went, 3 HRs were hit into our section to the left.

If politics continue to bring stress and concern about Trump and the stuff that implausibly keeps coming out of the clown car he and the GOP enablers are driving, I’m still more concerned about Mom’s memory.  She asked who I was on Monday while playing cards  in her apartment, which is an every day occurrence, so I’m more aware of that than another swamp invader in DC (but thank God EPA louse is gone).

Invoking Covey’s ‘7 Habits’ principles, I won’t be overwhelmed by that vast majority of things worrying about can’t affect.  Catching a Knights baseball game Friday evening at this gem of a park, with it’s terrific, major league-ish skyline of downtown beyond the brightly lit field, Romare Bearden Park next door, in a  luxury box filled with catered food, quality beers, and nice people, the start to year 24– and my knee– feels very good to me.

 

 

Never let it be said you didn’t do the least that could be done

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There was a small element of surprise when a recent lunch and learn regarding four Early Education Tutoring (part of the OPPORTUNITY Task Force) reading programs moved as smoothly and enlightened so well. Twenty-six potential volunteers attended (only one other guy), but the feeling of helpfulness and purpose regarding a necessary grass roots effort permeated the room.

The surprise at finding the right type situation– on my fourth attempt at volunteering to help with reading programs– was gratifying and easy to schedule. The Freedom School at St. Gabriel has linked with Oakhurst STEAM Academy for six years now, with the goal of reducing the summer learning loss for about 50 kids. There are two three-week sessions, with an opening for a Harambee Reader to kick things off in the morning June 18-July 6. Its only 40 minutes (8:20-9am), but when Laura Hull said, “Boy, do we need some male readers!” a magic button was pressed.

The focus of these programs is significant. If you haven’t heard about the Chetty Study, it’s a Harvard/UC Berkeley project that found Charlotte ranked last (4.4%, San Jose was tops at 12.9%) of 50 major cities in economic mobility, essentially how many children rise from the bottom of one economic quadrille to top of it as an adult.

Early care and education is one of three primary factors that correlated with economic mobility, and one specific and very relevant fact is that students not reading to grade level by fourth grade are almost destined to fall further behind as reading-writing needs/material become more difficult.  The Task Force goal to have 80% of Char-Meck students reading at that level is lofty—its currently only 39%, with Afro-American (22%) and Hispanic boys (18%) lagging significantly.

As a writer, its somewhat simplistic to state that reading made a major difference along the way for me, because while a highly regarded high school journalism program and college sharpened the tools,  knowing words (comprehension) and structure was the start— I had a ninth grade reading level in second grade. I doubt that going to a book mobile– my childhood included one available in a bank parking lot two blocks away, every Friday for years– is an option kids have in 2018.

Early care and education is one of three primary factors that correlated with economic mobility, and one specific and very relevant fact is that students not reading to grade level by fourth grade are almost destined to fall further behind as reading-writing needs/material become more difficult.

It was pointed out during presentations that the non-academic period of year is where support lags and students in high-poverty schools fall back. As a Wyzant tutor, I’ve focused on reading-writing-public speaking, and being able to see the progress with an 8th grader’s comprehension after a simple suggestion about pausing for punctuation during a second session was meaningful to both of us.  While she’d blazed through several paragraphs in a book, her comprehension of individual ideas was obviously jumbled; making that kind of a difference counts.  As Director-writer for SCHOBY (South Carolina Hugh O’Brian Youth) leadership program, I found even ten minutes of coaching before the groups of high-caliber rising juniors began doing group essays had the effect of focusing them, and improved the quality of product that was edited into a read-along, Aesops Fables-type children’s book. While those are the 90-95 percentile achievers, it makes the point of extra help even more valid—  a small push was all they needed.

Four programs our gathering learned about:

Augustine Literacy Project – (Fall 2018) Structured, explicit lesson plan format, tutor twice a week during school time for 1 ½ years (60 hours of tutoring), is quite a commitment. Two weeks of training ($250 cost for materials is generally handled by scholarship). Free, long-term, one-on-one instruction is their goal, because 74% of poor third grade readers are still poor readers in ninth grade.

Heart Math Tutoring – Executive Director Emily Elliot stressed that “Growth in concepts counts. The nature of math as yes/no answers means that enthusiasm and academic confidence increases when the student gets the 1-1 help that makes the difference in understanding.”  Their success—98% of students have met program growth goals—is admirable. (Fall 2018)

The Padres y Padrinos (Parents and Godparents or ’PYP’) program is a LAWA (Latin Americans Working for Achievement) project that has addressed the academic and social development of ESL students in East and South Charlotte elementary schools since 1992. They need volunteer commitment to 14 or 28 weeks of one hour per week for reading and basic math skills.

Thirty minutes a day for three weeks as the Harambee Reader? I’m in, and if I won’t immediately promise to get money for supplies, or extra people to listen to kids read for an hour on the July 18th Great Day of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), I also refuse to be someone with good intentions who fails to do the least that can be done.

To participate in or learn more about any of the programs, please contact Annette Dreyer at annette.dreyer@yahoo.com.

‘Gigging’ and Second Career Boomers: How a 2018 Entrepreneur Looks at Life

winslow-wifey at oroast

Oyster Roast is one of our Men’s Club special events. With Winslow & ‘wifey’.

Moving onward/adding another ‘gig’ has proceeded positively, and I am embracing to the max the 2018 embodiment of freelancing that’s always been a strong club in my personal creative bag. Having utilized verbal and written communications across all previous jobs, bringing those strengths to a Second Career notion we Boomers hold so dear is a legitimate attitude.

Similar vein, making a three chapter submission–  9200 words and tight– for my second book is less a milestone than an essential process.

There are numerous outlets-ways to monetize extra skills in current writing arena, in part because of people’s ability to telecommute with work product. I’ve been a reading-writing-public speaking tutor with Wyzant and Thumbtack for years, now I’ve hooked up with FlexJobs, Dice, The Creative Group and a couple others. I’m involved with a sports blogging function for the local NFL team,.  Economically I’ll be a resource, not an employee, the rest of my career. I didn’t have any problem prospecting in earlier careers like real estate, but in 2018 its sooo much easier to utilize the volume of pointed, quality, reliable leads possible from sites like FlexJobs than early 1980’s search in Tampa.

Having made Mom’s lunch, I’m available and dedicated to the process, BUT, it’s a fantastic 76 degrees of Carolina spring outside, and the temptation to really stress test my replacement knee with a 16-18 mile bike ride is probably going to be the deal. I have great faith and enthusiasm for that knee, re-adding athletic skills that got shelved the last half-dozen plus years is exciting. I have a preliminary date to whack a bucket of balls Saturday, and there’s a captains choice golf tournament at the end of April as a goal. I’m back up to my rugby weight (188) from 1986, been going to shoot hoops regularly, and *running* after misses is a joy, as is hoisting catch ‘n shoot jumpers from all over.

Mom has made great strides on mobility, too, we walked completely around the lake several times last week, and yesterdays stroll around the building was done fairly quick. Along with improved appetite and keeping her meds right with a dispenser 3x a day, that walking has improved her 84 year old knees to a great degree. We play ‘Kings in the Corner’ card game a lot, watch Dr. Phil, and yes, there’s a lot of psychic income knowing I’ve made a difference with walks, appointments, lunches, and health by being a good, helpful son.

That’s what being entrepreneurial looks like to me: I’m the brother in Charlotte with a job description that allows me to work wherever I am. Although Mom’s apartment at Carmel Hills doesn’t have wifi, I grin and bear that, and yes, I’d create a hot spot if really needed it. Carrying a sketch pad to journalize with is a long time habit, and I can be highly mobile any time of the day.  (Just FYI, cars name is Bullitt2– don’t get deep on politically correct, its more about Steve McQueen.)

mom-rummicub

‘Time’ is a primary factor for giggers, usually the ability to devote chunks to specific ‘other’ circumstances. From mid-December surgery until the beginning of March, I rehabbed hard, and being primary caregiver for my mother since she got out of hospital on Valentines Day was 35-40 hour commitment, down to twenty by July.  While that’s not a killer schedule by any means, gigging mitigates conflict—even if that means writing proposals or blogging after 11:00 SportsCenter.

Glenn S.