Monday, October 30, 2017

ANOTHER SNEAK PEEK CHAPTER FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK

Well, I have not posted a blog in about a month. The writing time that I set aside every day has been taken up with the book I am writing.  I hope to have it done and E-published within the next 3 or 4 months. Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek at one of the chapters.

From the book 'THE SELF HELP BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE SELF HELP BOOKS ' 
©2017 Speedcat Productions



CHAPTER 10
Sand Dunes



Have you ever felt like you are climbing a sand dune? You start at the bottom, and begin climbing. You get a little way and then slide down. You know if you can get up to the top, that the answers are right on the other side. It's a long way. It's hot and it's, well, sandy. It's in your shoes, it's in your shorts and chafing places that sand really should not be.

We do this to ourselves all the time. We beat our heads against the wall trying not to get a headache while hoping to figure out answers that are on the other side of the dune. We somehow have this Hollywood vision of sweeping vistas and a beautiful mountain landscape waiting once we reach the top of the dune! Sometimes it's a mirage.

Here is a thought. Sometimes it might take a little longer, but maybe walking around the sand dune might be a better answer. You expend less energy by walking instead of climbing, and you don't get sand in your crack.

If the answer is on the other side of the Dune, it will still be there whether you go around or up. (Some people even try to dig a tunnel through the dune to get to the other side....but that image is just too horrendous to even think about....

I have learned that when you get to the other side, it's easier to handle whatever you find there if you are not exhausted from getting there. Because, sometimes the answer is not what you expect it to be,

Expectation is the key word here. We all have expectations. They can involve work, upbringing, marriage, dating, friendships and pretty much everything you do with a vision of what you desire out of something. Even a pet, or new car...If it isn't what you picture in your idyllic mind, you are disappointed and unhappy. Why? Part of it is expectations that others have planted into you. “I just got this great Jack Russell Terrier. He is the perfect dog...... So off you go to get a perfect dog of your very own. You bring your Jack Russell home and he barks all night and tears everything up and becomes your worst nightmare. You call your friend and chew his ass because he planted these expectations in your head. He didn't mention that he lives on a farm. You live in a one bedroom apartment in the city. Expectations depend a lot on the perception you garner from what others say. Be it friends, relatives or advertisers. Advertisers are the worst for planting expectations in our heads. Climb the sand dune and the world is better on the other side. What a large pile of crap.
Now, here I go again telling you that positive thinking is not what you should subscribe to. Not at all. We all have to have expectations, and not all of them are going to pan out like we want them to. It goes back to how we react to the outcome. If you go into things without depending on a particular outcome, you will find things work better in the long run. If things work out the way you picture, great. If not, Then take the pitch as it comes. Sometimes when you are looking for a fastball, a curve ball comes sneaking up to you. You have to be ready to hit whatever is pitched no matter what you might think it's going to be.

I told my wife when we first moved to Las Vegas where people do NOT know how to drive, 'Here is what you do to survive driver here...(or anywhere really). Be aware of those around you. Think of the craziest, stupidest off the hook thing they could possibly do...and prepare for that! That way when they do it, you are not taken by surprise.

One more thought about sand dunes. They are fluid. Always moving and being reshaped by the wind. They are not stagnant like a huge rock wall (which as we said before is also changing constantly, but at much slower pace). Sometimes if you have a goal, and you climb the sand dune to no avail, and you don't have the ambition to walk around it, maybe just leave it be for a while. Come back to it later. Maybe the winds of change will reshape it and even make it a smaller hill to climb.


Monday, October 2, 2017

A LONG DAY OF MOURNING

Today. October 2nd, is already a day of mourning on my annual calendar.  Today would have been my son Michael's 30th birthday. Today I light a candle for him. We lost him on Father's day 2005.  Happy Birthday, my son. I love you and know you are with me always. 

It is, though, a double day of mourning in the wake of the horrendous (not a strong enough word) events that unfolded here in the city I love, Las Vegas. I won't go into the whole story, because everyone knows what happened.  My Wife Nikki and I were sitting at home. We had just finished watching Walk The Line, and my phone started beeping.  Having been a 911 dispatcher in one of my past work incarnations, I have a police scanner app on my phone. It alerted me that 40,000 people were listening to the scanner.  That's a lot. Flipped it on along with the TV to see the events unfolding. Listening in real time to the officers and the dispatchers. The strike teams and SWAT teams. The amazing coordination of our law enforcement and support agencies.  They came in amidst total pandamonium and took control. They quickly located the shooter and confirmed he was dead.  It was amazing to hear in real time. We knew details long before the news channels reported.  

I woke up this morning to many e mails and texts asking about my welfare.  I did a show at Caesar's Palace the night before and was invited to come to the concert last night. I declined.  I like to spend Sunday night with my son and my wife. Which I did.  I, as a spectator do not like large crowds unless I am performing for them. We realize last night that no one is safe from a madman.  The entertainers had a hard time realizing what was happening, because on stage, it's loud and hard to hear.  I have been on many stages this size, and seeing the video, praise the people who cleared the stage in the short precious time they did.  

This could have been much much worse. As we listened to the scanner, there were reports of shots fired at Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, Tropicana, Flamingo, New York New York and the Paris. 
My first thought was that it was a coordinated terrorist attack. Thank god the shots fired reports at the other properties were unfounded. One gunman. This time.  Face it...Las Vegas is a target. We are very vigilant in our security in this town. There are thousands of cameras in every hotel / casino here and many sharp trained eyes that are watching everything you do.  How did this guy get all these guns up. Suitcase? Golf Bag? Something that security didn't catch.  I see a future where we will have to run bags through a scanner at check in like at the airport. But even then, unlike the airport, we have free range at hotels.  All this is yet to be revealed. 

For now, today, this moment, I mourn the loss of my son Michael, and pray for the well being of all the surviving victims of last nights shooting, and pray God's Speed to Heaven for the ones who did not make it.  Bravo to all the first responders, and the brave every day citizens who kept themselves in harm's way to help others who were hurt. Last night they were all just people helping each other.  Humanity can come together and be one force for good. 

Take a moment of silence for the departed and Good night and God Bless