The Very Best Holiday Treats

In a previous lifetime, when I was in radio, there was an expression:

“You can tell how successful a disc-jockey is by the size of the trailer attached to his car.”

car-and-trailer-cartoon

This was a reference to how often on-air personalities had to pack up and move, usually seeking larger markets or better opportunities.

Such is the saga as to how Humboldt County became my home.

Much like Harry Chapin’s song, “W-O-L-D,” I bounced around the western U.S., ending up as morning personality and music director at a classic rock station in Southern California, where I also published an industry newsletter. A newly hired consultant for a pair of radio stations among the redwoods followed my periodical and brought me up here. Initially, my strategy was to remain “a couple of years” and take family and trailer to San Francisco. If 31 years constitutes “a couple of years,” I might still be on track. Elsewise, it looks like I’m here for the duration.

After leaving radio with a background in promotion, I earned my take as a marketing consultant (which I still do at times). Some of my clients were political campaigns.

Following so far? (There will be a test.)

Anyhoo, a dozen years ago, I was one cog in the wheel of a team that helped manage the successful campaign of a local official, who was since been re-elected twice, and is now retiring. We don’t see each other very much these days. It’s not that there’s any animosity, quite the contrary; he’s always very warm when we bump into each other. It’s just, you know how life is, right? He’s doing his thing and I do mine. However, recently his “team” personally reached out to me, extending a special invitation to his retirement soiree, basically saying, “You were there at the beginning. It would be great if you showed up.” [Read more…]

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Thanksgiving & Gratitude Quotations

In honor of Thanksgiving, a collection of quotes for you.

happy-thanksgiving

• Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey • As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John F. Kennedy Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. ~ Henry Van Dyke • You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There’s another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity. ~ Bill Gates I’m thankful for every moment. ~ Al GreenThanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~ Erma Bombeck Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. ~ Henry Ward BeecherDear Lord; we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all men living, peace in the whole world this Thanksgiving. ~ Joseph Auslander Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.~ Joyce Giraud • Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.~ Brian TracyGratitude is the sign of noble souls. ~ Aesop • Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. ~ Zig ZiglarWhen a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. ~ Elie Wiesel • At the age of 18, I made up my mind to never have another bad day in my life. I dove into a endless sea of gratitude from which I’ve never emerged. ~ Patch AdamsGive thanks often, especially when it doesn’t seem like you have anything for which to give thanks. ~ Scott “Q” Marcus

For more quotations on gratitude – and to find where I found many of these – follow this link.

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Giving thanks in Confusing Times

Consider this column a holiday public service.

family reunion

Consider it an aide memoire of what really matters. Consider it anything you wish. However, I wanted to take these moments, particularly at this time of year, to remind us — me — of some reasons to offer up thanks. After all, despite what sometimes passes as common belief, Thanksgiving is not a caloric competition.

With beheadings and renewed violence in the Middle East, an exaggerated Ebola scare; a frightening escalation of global warming; vitriolic hyperbolic, unproductive, childlike exchanges among “our leaders” about everything from affordable healthcare to immigration; a still-shaky standard of living for far too many; gridlock in Government, and — oh yeah — the worst drought in centuries here in California, we’re having quite some time of it all.

In times such as we find ourselves, it is vital to recall the words of Francois de La Rochefoucauld,

“Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.”

The future will be better; be assured. Yet, while we are still chopping though the rough seas of today, some reminders might be in order.

Nonetheless, what really matters is that many of us will be surrounded by family and friends, people who support and guide us.

When we are off course, they redirect us. When we are on track, they congratulate us. When illness ravages our body and beats our spirit, they, like angels, sit by our side and heal us. When we are overwhelmed, they hold us near. When infused with joy, they join us in song. What a blessing, in the midst of seas of swirling, chaotic, pandemonium, to find islands of protection where we can have a rest and reclaim our souls. To say to them, “Thank you,” is woefully, pitifully, inadequate. Yet, it can do no harm.

[Read more…]

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Celebrate Your Age

Celebrate your age!

Yes, it can be frightening growing older.

old coupleAfter all, we’re entering the great unknown.

As I heard someone say long ago:

“Yes, there are people who are older than me, but this is the oldest I’ve ever been.”
A few days after my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I asked her how she felt about knowing that she didn’t have long to live. My mother, who always believed in “The Greatest Good at All Times,” did not changer her life-long philosophy because of her fate.
She said,
“I’m frightened and I’m going to miss you and your sister. But, I have to believe that the greatest good is at play and I cannot give it up here. Besides, it’s kind of like life’s last big adventure. I’m curious to see where it goes.”

[Read more…]

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Check Your Body Language Regularly

If you’re not smiling, make an attempt to do so.

woman-looking-at-self-in-mirror

Negative moods are caused by “stuck thoughts.” When that happens, get up for a few minutes and change your environment. Spend some time walking or call a friend or just breathe deeply. Change your focus – even if it’s only for a short time.

You’ll notice that your mood lifts almost immediately.
[Read more…]

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