Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Day

Just a quick little post on the fact that today is LEAP YEAR DAY… I think thats what you call it, but if not, I am stick with it.

Every four years we get a extra day, a day to do what ever we want with, but I noticed no one is very excited about it…..

You would think as excited as folks get when the clock falls back and everyone gets that extra hour of sleep for daylight savings time, folks would be dancing a Jig for a whole extra day…


Who celebrates February 29th for their birthday? As a kid I use to think this would be just awful, that you would only get to have a birthday party once every 4 years.

The closer I get to 40, I really kind of like the idea… However I guess you would still age at the same rate….

Do you know what the call children born on February 29th?

Leap Day Babies…

I would have thought it would have been, Leap Year Babies but on the web site dedicated to children born on this day.  Yes, there is a website, heck probably multiple websites then some Facebook pages and groups, oh and I wager we have countless blogs, and I am just sure we have a twitter feed all dedicated to this rarest of days.

Well some of the folks who were born on the 29th includes;

Ja Rule                      Rapper
Antonio Sabato Jr.   Actor
Tony Robbins          Motivational Speaker
Jack Lousma            Astronaut
Dinah Shore             Actress and TV personality…..however  she is most notable for my generation 
                                 and younger as her name is used to rhyme with Menorah in Adam Sandlers  Hanukkah song.

There might be something to this ageing thing; all of those look incredible for their ages…..Well Dinah is dead, but she looked good right up until the end.

I use to tease and aggravate an ex-girlfriend much to my enjoyment and her dismay,  that her birthday was on February 29th and that I was off the hook for getting her any gifts…

Oh I knew that wasn’t her birthday, then I would say 
It’s ok honey, I know your birthday is the 28th
 The problem with this was, it wasn’t the 28th  .... but it was really on the 26th of the month, I share this with folks so you know that even someone as brilliant as myself can have some real…. SLOW…. Moments

Sure hope folks took that last line about be being brilliant, in the, tongue-in-cheek way it was meant.

I always thought for us guys, that proposing on or getting marred on Leap Year Day would be ideal, this way when we inevitably forget to do something special to remember that day, at least 3 out of the 4 years we could say it wasn’t our fault.

Notable events on this day in history…I would have thought something big might
have happened on the 29th of February at some point in the past… Not so much.

1972            Hank Aaron is the 1st baseball player to sign for $200,000 
1968            Beatles win a Grammy for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Harts Club”
1960            The 1st Playboy club opened up in Chicago…
1940            “Gone with the Wind” wins 8 Oscars
What happened today that you will remember?


Sometimes uneventful days are ok, even hoped for.

However today is a FREE day, it’s an EXTRA day… Don’t you think you should do something special with it?

Start a hobby

Give up a bad habit

Turn off the TV and pick up that book you’ve been eyeing

Sign up for that class you’ve wanted to take

Or perhaps it could be simpler....

You could….
Sit in silence, and reflect on where your life is at.

Phone that friend who’s been in your thoughts

Tell someone, you Love them.
(Even if your sure they already know it)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lets go to the store

Grocery stores

For lots of reasons I love strolling around a grocery store… mainly I guess it combines my love of marketing, advertising and agriculture all in one place. I love seeing how manufactures design packaging,  how a retailer sets up a store with product placement, and how, what I call short trip items are showcased… I would define short trip products as fruit, vegetables, dairy products but mostly meat importantly meat in the case…. I grew up showing cattle and as a kid I wanted to know as much about my project from conception all the way to consumption.

In high school the Beef Check Off program was really hitting its stride from advertising, and distributing information about not only cuts of beef but also the health benefits red meat protein offered….

I still am an advocate for the beef industry and watch, read, listen intently to anyone in the media who seems to slant animal agriculture in a negative light… I spend way to much time checking Twitter for the newest info ……I think every one in Ag must be vigilant in telling “OUR” story….Now I wont say everything is perfect and that we can’t improve on feeding, handling, housing, and harvesting our product… but the media seems to target animal ag a lot and it really burns me when our media  focus in on something negative in our industry.

The media seems to sensationalize every story to get the most bang for their buck… but that is for a another blog…

I want to get back to TODAYS topic… Grocery stores

I just love, when I have time checking out a specialty story like Jungle Jims down in Cincinnati, or those upscale retailers like Whole Foods or locally, The Dixie Market. I really think it drove my ex-girlfriend CRAZY that I would or could spend so much time in a grocery store… I think she kind of got it, but bless her heart… I think once or twice and she was over it….

What struck me to write this blog is how much difference I noticed today from a store in Ohio to the store I was in here in Iowa…. The basic lay out was somewhat the same but the check-out lines were short, and the cashiers unpacked you cart… Can’t really describe it… and the crazy thing is they have bag GIRLS who still take your groceries out to your car… when was the last time someone offered to help you with your groceries out to your vehicle?

And below I have posted some pics of the meat department…

How cool is this, looks like something out of photo from the 70’s.

And how bout this….. they still cut the meat out where everyone can see it… we need more transparency in our food purchasing...

I know this blog is a little different… again no real reason what triggers or inspires me to write one on a certain topic… it just comes to me

Thanks for stopping by….

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Life's Soundtrack starts with a Whitney Houston track and FFA

 Mixing it up some this is a little different as I try to tie three very different Items into one blog … this may be a little choppy but here we go
Life's Soundtrack

I have posted a few different times about, and just knew I would do more than one blog post on music that belongs in or on the “SOUNDTRACK” to our lives….

“Every great movie has a soundtrack, your life is like a movie and you’re the star”

“You can have a life with out music, but why would want to?”

“Life is amplified though music”

(Those are Kevin Mears original quotes …. Feel free to share ;-o )

Would you agree that at difficult times you have had a special or certain song that helped you get you though it? 

Example after a friend’s sister died the constant replay of “I Can Only Imagine” brought comfort and solace to her. This song, I like it very well at any place other than a funeral, causes folks seem to cry way to easy.  

Another friend seemed bent on seeing if she could ware out a Sarah Mclachlan CD, trying to drown herself in the hypnotic melody of  “Angel” you remember it from back in the day “…in the arms of the angel fly away from here…”

Or it might be that a certain song may conger up memories of your youth,  your time of rebellion or teen angst. It might be Nirvana “Smells like Teen Sprit” For some. I am sure there are countless songs that people identify with from that WILD & FREE time of their youth… My song for this time period was “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns and Roses,  and really anything of the Appetite for Destruction Cd….

Vivid, still are the memoires of where and when I first heard those monster power cords and ear shredding guitar riffs, with that piercing voice of GNR front man Axl Rose. 

At Salem Church of God….

No, not as part of a service, my high school held graduation at that church and I was a Junior that had  went to see my high school sweetheart who was a grade ahead of me go though commencement.  As I walked across the parking lot after the service I heard the tires squeal as a fellow class mate blew past driving his Jeep in quite a reckless fashion, doing donuts and peel outs right in the church parking lot while two of the recent grads still wearing commencement robes were standing up, in the back of the Jeep holding on to the roll bar with one hand and with the other hand slamming beers…. All the while blearing from that classmates 12 inch aftermarket Kmart Kenwood speakers, was what, to me was.... new, unknown, raw, it was sex and violence, and hate, death and destruction, drugs and alcohol and absolutely everything about it was wrong…… a line even said “ I wanna watch you bleed”….. oh it was wrong, wrong, wrong!

………and I liked it…..

Oh, I still picture those boys raising hell in the back of that Jeep every time I hear the songs unmistakable guitar into.

These are the songs that make up the soundtracks to our lives…. I know now you'll be thinking bout yours now….

Whitney Houston…..

I would like to talk about her life…don’t grown, not yet at least….

I sure don’t want to glamorize her death; I think way too much has been said and seen on TV about it…

Everyone remembers that fresh-faced beauty who broke out with hit after hit. I promise every guy, and I mean EVERY GUY, Black, White or Green who was a boy in the mid-80’s remembers her videos in vivid detail from that grey dress in “How Do You Know” and that hip hugging purple number in “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.

Ladies, if your man is from 30 to 45 and says he didn’t have a little thing for her.. He is lying! .

I also bet every girl from that time remembers at least one day-dream where she was at the Jr. High Dance with her Teen Beat Heartthrob holding her tight, to Whit’s “Saving All My Love For You”   

I won’t even talk about her second rate remake of that Dolly Parton song that she totally butchered……. Kidding … I am Kidding…

Here’s where story turns… How does someone with such a voice, such beauty, such regalia, and such love and support from family and church community, spiral out of control in to a life of substance abuse?

It’s not polite to speak ill of the deceased, but I have to ask what went wrong?

You may have watched the funeral on TV, I caught a few minutes of it before I had to leave my hotel on that day, I saw bits and pieces of highlights on the evening news shows and saw more on YouTube where the service has over a 1.2 million views… By all accounts she had a great support group of love from powerfully strong Christian faithful…. So many people loved her, but where were these folks when she fell…. Those that spoke, tell that she was a woman of God.

Her troubles seem to all surrounds her choice of mates in Bobby Brown six years her junior. She was a woman of class and style, grace and presence. He was a punk, a bump, a bad boy with a rep for substance abuse…. I am sure he promised that he would change and be the man she deserved… Surely that woman had the confidence to demand the best from her spouse… Wouldn’t she?  

Well she’s not the first smart person whose choice was wrong in a mate…. Crazy how folks continue make the same mistakes when they have seen the movie already and know it doesn’t end well…

OK... I'll get back on course... Life's Soundtrack

The song of hers that goes on the Soundtrack to my life was a special song that was recorded for the 1988 Olympic games. The song was played during the opening ceremonies with video clips of past opening ceremonies and footage of past games and ends with the lighting of the flame of the Olympic Cauldron.  Albert Hammond, the songs writer says he was inspired by and wrote the song imagining that, “The KING” Elvis Presley was singing it….

Side note…. I’ve never written a song nor do plan to, but I am guessing if you write a song and can image Elvis singing it…. It might be a hit…. jus saying.

If this song doesn’t inspire you to achieve greatness, I don’t know if you can be inspired.

I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me

I don’t know about you, but I am the guy who wants the ball when the last seconds are on the clock… I’ve always wanted folks around me who have the same mantra in life …

Winning and the desire to win is built in our DNA…

Who, has ever seen a young boy, shooting hoops, who pretends that there are only five seconds on the clock, his team, down by one, with the championship on the line, playing against a bigger, stronger, better team, and as he dribbles the ball down the court and starts to count down the clock aloud  “Five, Four, Three……” He then talks in the announcer voice  “It’s all on the line with this shot, little Jimmy has the ball with three seconds left on the clock”
                                                                                    To pass the ball?

No!!!! he takes the SHOT…. If he makes it he says “The Crowd Goes WILD” … if he misses, chances are he’s going to try it again…
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then, in that one moment of time
I will feel eternity

“I will feel eternity”…to those who have been in big time clutch situations know that time stands still for just that monument.

Well it doesn’t really but that’s the way our brain processes certain things of great importance.

The reason this song makes it as track one is in high school, at most  FFA event’s it was almost cliché that they’re would be a slide show set to this song.  At times was a real treat if there was a member of the State or National Chorus or someone from the Talent Show would sing the song live…. I say sometimes. This song is one that is so perfect; it will tick you off when you hear it did it poorly.... 

----- is that safe enough segway to move on to the past week being National FFA Week? 


This Past week was National FFA week… I am guessing that doesn’t mean much to most of the folks in the world … but for those of us who bled Blue and Gold its kind of a big deal.

Well not so much anymore, once your out of high school, or in the be big scheme of world events. I could go on and on about some of my great memoires of ag class and my experience participating in contests and the like however I know I will give attention to that at some point… Maybe

I was proud to serve as a State Officer 

I guess what I will touch on is how the last week I have found myself think about the person I am, and how much the leadership activities shaped me in to the person I am now. It troubles me to know that Ag Ed programs are continually under budget review and cuts.

I believe whole –heartedly that the life skills and lessons learned though the leadership side of FFA should be mandatory for all students!

I often wonder where other folks learn what I learned in FFA and my High School Ag Class.

Work ethic
Decision making skills
Basic economic principals
Environmental understating
Community involvement
Interpersonal skills
Building relationships
Social interaction.
Character building
Maintain a proper and healthy attitude 
To strive for excellence in all aspects of life and work

Well I won’t say this is the only place to learn these things but it defiantly help strengthen these core life skills. Thanks for stopping by...
Please leave comments I love to hear from folks... also feel free to share this blog with your others who might enjoy....

I would like to know what are some songs on your Life's Soundtrack? 
Please share in the comments below.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentines Day or Single Awareness Day

Valentines Day or Single Awareness Day

The above line and the thoughts that goes with the emotions that goes with them, reminds me of the old line from politics…

“Where you stand on a issue, most often depends upon where you sit.”

If I need to explain that line, you should stop reading now….

I noticed stuff all over Facebook the other day about how people either loved Valentine’s Day and what their significant other did special for them or how much they loathed the day and all it their relationship status seems to be locked on single.

You know the ones who cringe at the line from Wedding Crashers “True love is your soul's recognition of its counterpoint in another."

Emotions of sadness and disconnection was prevalent, this feeling my have been perpetuated with the Grammy’s the night before and Adele’s performance and her sweep of awards…. As one person said “Her songs just make you want to cry.”

Her big hit was written with raw emotion and was about a desperately heartbreaking end of a relationship…. (Which is the premise for most country hits except those for The Band Perry).

Many seem intent that it’s a BS holiday created by, and to market Hallmark Greeting Cards and Whitman’s Chocolate Samplers.

I thought I would share some of my observations about the season….

Many on Facebook had photos of the flowers their loved ones sent… however there might have been a lot more flowers pictured and posted on FB had 1-800-Flowers had not dropped he ball on hundreds of orders on V-Day…. Boy if you were a boyfriend in the dog house for not being romantic and trusted them to make you look less ‘Shumck-like” that would be a EPIC FAIL….(This so would have been my luck).

This month guys take your lady to see The Vow… one chick flick wont kill you… this one has a nice message and is based on a real story where love and faith in God saved a family.

One neat thing I saw, some friends who refuse to send out Christmas cards because of there busy work schedule, all the children’s school activities, her duties at home and volunteering at St Patrick’s for the holiday worship festivities, and his on his families farm, they could never get cards sent out on time….. So this family does a family Valentines Day card…. A red card with some pink hearts and a few fun pictures of the kids over the past year…quite a neat ideal… one, I am sure my single friends may long to do if they EVER find someone to have a family with…..(insert WAAAH,WAHW sound effect in here) ….The funny thing to me is they never get them sent out before Valentines Day… My friend says if she gets them out in the month of February that’s close enough….

Online news article states that over the last 5 years, the 30 days prior to Valentines Day enrollment jumps 20% over any other time of the year for online dating websites….

Did you get chocolate as a V-day gift?
Did you get YOURSELF Chocolate?
Either way it’s ok… Remember dark chocolate is considered Heart Healthy, it helps your eyesight, and it just makes you smile!

February not only lays claim to V-Day but also is the most active month for divorce per ….  Some places see a 40% spike…..The least active… October.

Other stuff from…

80% are a one sided decision, meaning 8 out of ten divorces one spouse wants to work things out.

1 out of 5 cite Facebook for evidence.

Couples in the south have the highest divorce rate and in the northeast the lowest

A couple of quotes about love that I just have to share.

A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. -- Proverbs 15:17 (NLT)

"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly." Sam Keen

"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile."  -- Franklin P. Jones

"When you are in love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams." -- Dr Suess

Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other -- it doesn't matter who it is -- and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other. -- Mother Teresa

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there -- fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge -- they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around."
From the Movie- -Love Actually

My favorite!!!

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -- Lao Tzu

For those of you who loved V-DAY here is a video for you...

I Love Eli Young band, I Love this song, don't you dream about a love like this?
Even the most MACHO guy wants to dance to it at a wedding....

For those who don’t …. Here’s one for you….enjoy ;-)
Not sure about some of the lyrics but sometimes
 you have to take the good with the bad..

Untill next year… Gals keep dreaming about a cross between George Clooney & myself and guys keep dreaming about bumping into Kate Upton at the gas station or the coffee shop and falling madly in love…. Don’t know who she is????????? Oh you will…Trust me…..

Closing thoughts..

For those of you in relationships, the best present….

Its not a present but Presents …. Or perhaps PRESENCE….

Your TRUE Presence…. Not just at Valentines dinner or for a few minutes when someone is hoping to get a little lovin, but everyday…. In our world of email, cell phones, text msg, IM’s, Facebook, Twitter and countless other distractions its real easy to neglect your partner…. And that’s ok if you don’t care about them for the long term…. But someone out there might….. and well, they won’t be your partner long

At a church services a few weeks ago a message on marriage pointed out that most marriages that fail “Die in the daily” …. You know those average mundane tasks that its easy to divert your Presence somewhere else…

For those who are single maybe on this day (since I am always a few days late, this month) folks should start with learning to love themselves…. Before they obsess with loving someone else?

Thanks for stopping by.....