Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Help Me Support The Kids of St Jude

Friends and Family,

J and I are blessed with two beautiful children, and cannot fathom how hard a child's deadly illness can be for a family to work through. Kids should not have to go through these struggles, but they do every day. The least I can do is use my 2014 fitness journey to raise some money for St. Jude.

I've committed to supporting the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by participating as a St. Jude 
Warrior at a Warrior Dash race this August near Canton, OH. I want to raise $500. Will you help me?

  • Kids should be given a chance to live healthy lives
  • Your donation helps ensure no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude.
  • Your donation also helps St. Jude continue to change the way the world treats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases through pioneering research and lifesaving care.
  • Any size donation will help.
Please visit my St Jude Donation Page to make a donation.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hope, Understanding and Future

I attended a Habitat for Humanity charity dinner the other day. Sometime I can take the roof over my head for granted. Never in my life did I have to be concerned for a place to rest my head. There are a lot of good hard working people that do not have this luxury. HFH works to get affordable housing for families willing to work for it, and get them a reasonable loan for their home. I used to think the houses were given away, but I actually like the HFH system. The family has to work on their own home, either building for refurbishing the structure. Every member of the family has a time obligation, to tie in the ownership concept. Then the family has a 30 year loan through HFH they must pay like any other mortgage.

I have a friend that often states if you give someone something for free; they will not appreciate that something, and not be invested. This is the exact model HFH works against, no freebie houses. During the banquet a HFH mother spoke about what HFH and having a safe home for her family to grow up in meant to her. She used three words to describe the HFH home ownership experience. Hope, Understanding and Future. What a graceful summary of a home. Couldn't we all use a little more hope, understanding and a better future? I have several outlets of influence between work, my family and my volunteer life. This week I want to focus on providing a proverbial home for someone, and lending some hope, practicing a little more understanding, and walk toward a better future with someone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Be a Lighthouse

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.

― Dwight L. Moody

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let her fold the shirt

Last week my little daughter wanted to help me with the laundry folding badly. To set the stage, I am a fairly retentive clothes folder. I have a specific pattern that gets shirts to lie flat, and look crisp out of the drawer. In some other life I must had had extensive retail clothes sales training. So I let C$ folder some t-shirts while I put the rest away. She mimicked me well, laying out the shirt, and attempted to fold them down the lines I did. What ended up happening was pretty much a white T ball. But, she was so proud of that ball. I was not allowed to put the shirt in the drawer either, she had too. I loved watching her do this; it was high on the cute meter. I did however make a mental note to go back and re-fold the shirts she worked on, three in all, the right way.

The weekend was very busy from the get go, and I totally forgot the t-shirt folding. This morning, I woke and worked out, and grabbed a shower. This is a fairly routine start to my day. Then, when I was dressing I opened the sock/T drawer, and had the happiest surprise. I was pleased as punch to see the little ball of a white T still sitting in my drawer. This made my morning. I am so glad I did not re-fold the shirts. I know I like to have things a certain way, but I cannot expect this from just a little kid. If you re-fold too much in life, to please yourself, you might just miss out on a wrinkled ball of love sitting waiting for you in your drawer.

Friday, April 11, 2014


This has been a really long week. Work travel can really be a drag, and I do not travel all that much compared to some of my friends. I miss J,C&C a lot when I am on the road, and had some great quality time last night with them. I am really glad it is Friday, even though we have a fairly busy weekend.

The picture above is a mock-up of a potential Browns draft pick. Not my pick for the #4 overall, but he is interesting. A bunch of folks today left work a little early to see the movie Draft Day. I have absolutely no interest in this film at all. None, zip, zero. The city of Cleveland sports team take enough, without some second rate Hollywood picture taking another swipe at us. the movie does not look all that good, I do hear it makes the city look good, which is nice. I just prefer the actual draft day drama the Browns are knee deep in this year. And this is not Major League, that was a comedy, a lighthearted look at the sad state of the Indians (just before the great 90's ball they played). No self-respecting Browns fan should go see this movie in my opinion. Why would we watch out team being made to look so bad, that only a movie miracle could fix? This film is just too close to home for such a perennially bad franchise. I will go see the city look great in Captain America: TWS instead, and hope Ray Farmer can make Kevin Costner look dumb in May.

Go Browns.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Big Toes

There are lots of manly ways to hurt your toe.The dreaded turf toe is a common football injury. It always sound a bit of a "weak" injury when it causes players to miss games. I have turf toe right now, and I no longer think it is a joke. My problem is I do not have a good story. I was walking up stairs, with my hands full, and missed a step, with everything but my big toe. As I stepped up with all my weight on one lone big toe...ouchies. I dropped like a sack of potatoes. No macho sports story for me, just the inability to hit a step with my foot.

The big toe is overlooked for it's importance to your everyday, all day activity. Absolutely everything you do on two feet rely on the big toe. I have broken a pinky-toe with less irritation to my daily routine.  

What is your big toe at work, or at home? What is that one person or little service you take for granted every day and do not show appreciation for? I do not have an extra big toe to swap out the injured one. Make sure you look for your "big toes" in your daily life, and thank them. I am sure you have some irreplaceable people that could use your appreciation..

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I am a proud Eagle Scout. There are four things I mainly attribute to for who I am as a man today. My family, the Church, Boy Scouts and my Fraternity. A lot of guys have a sports coach in there, but I never really had that great coach I looked up to or used as a mentor (not including my Dad). I'm writing today because another one of my Scout Masters passed on this week. George Grim had a stroke and died, leaving my Dad as the only long serving Scout Master I had as a kid left.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are a target of a lot of negative things; media attacks for membership policies, constant jokes about molestation, and general "nerd" jokes. They are actually very similar to the Catholic Church in this way. But, I will always defend the BSA because the good far outweighs the bad. It is not even close. As a boy and young man, my Scout Masters helped instill so many good things in me I cannot count. Good citizenship, confidence, survival skills, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, goal setting, community service, friendship, love of the outdoors, my somewhat obsessive love of knots, doing a good turn daily, and on and on. To this day I strive to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. This is the Scout Law.

The men who spent their free time volunteering to instill these things in a young boy should be honored. George Grim, along with Paul Luke, Bill Chester, Dallas Heston, Ralph McDonough and many others should all be commended for their great work and dedication. I hope I have lived a life worthy of my Eagle Scout badge, and will recommit myself to the Scout Oath today in their honor.

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

And for Mr. Grim, I will look to the West, and sing that song you would always sing on camp-outs at night to your beloved West Virginia home. I hope you have been taken home down that country road.