Keeping On

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to make its presence known, Statistics aside, we can see a variety of responses by individuals to a defining moment for this generation. Some think that the new, temporary stay at home rules don’t apply to them. Sort of a sad commentary that our canine family members are better at “sit,” and “stay” than some humans.
I think that this younger generation will see this defining moment in a couple of ways. Taking common sense precautions to protect one’s health and, more importantly, the health of family and friends, isn’t giving up any rights or liberties. It’s allowing common sense to prevail.
Second, I think the younger generation was becoming transfixed exclusively on today’s technology and the promise of technologies to come; so much so, that human contact was ignored in favor of text messages, emails, or any other electronic versions of reaching out to others. Now that we can’t shake hands or hug one another for the time being, the importance of that human contact is being reawakened in all of us. We’re remembering the importance of practicing kindness and looking out for each other. That’s not a bad thing, when we think about it. Letting others know how much we value them is important, not only now as we seek out new ways to share that, but also in the months and years that follow.
I’m reminded of a great line spoken by Chief Dan George in the Clint Eastwood movie, “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” when he stated basically how important it was to “endeavor to persevere.” How prophetic those words seem today. We must all work through this current situation with the goal in mind of surviving, praying that our families and friends all survive, and keeping those who have died or lost a loved one in our thoughts and prayers,
We will get through this situation and we will come out of it stronger, and with a renewed faith in the importance of letting our treasured families and friends know how very much we love each and every one of them. Keep on, folks. Stay safe and stay well.

Not Overthinking

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I find that sometimes I can overthink the meaning of the day, especially trying to make sure I give thanks for all the good things that have happened, as well as giving thanks for overcoming the not so good things that have happened. We’re simplifying things this year. It’s been a roller coaster ride without a doubt. But here’s what Jake and I are thankful for:

Our family. Even though the pack “family” is much smaller, Jake‘s still with us. My family members are doing nicely, all things considered, and they’re as close as the nearest phone.

Our friends: best friends, long time friends, new friends, and all those in-between. Our circle of treasured friends continues to support us and help us create new memories, share laughter, and best of all, they continue to love us.

My son, daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter who deserve a special mention because of the abundance of joy they bring to my life. Despite the geographical distance, we remain close and in constant contact. They fill my heart with love and Jake adores the video calls with them all.

Despite Jake’s health issues, we’re still having more good days than bad ones. Spending quality time with him has been really nice. I know he’s enjoyed it and I don’t mind taking the hour or more that he wants to sleep in my lap on the floor. I get to quiet my mind, gently rub behind his ears, and just be in the moment with a tremendous pup who I still consider to be a true gift from God.

So, to all our readers and new folks who might visit our page, we wish you a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

Unintended Consequences

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t think through the phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished,” because it really made no sense to me.  If it was a good deed, there wasn’t any reason to think about punishment.  But then –

Jake hasn’t been eating like he should for the past week so I decided that now was the time to begin seriously spoiling him.  I went dog food shopping, looking specifically for grain free canned dog food that had nothing but natural ingredients, no grain, and every ingredient was not only one I could pronounce, it was also one that I could spell.  I thought I hit the jackpot when I found a grain free canned dog food that contained a mix of duck and sweet potato.  I thought we were still good even after opening the can and finding something that looks suspiciously like a paté.  Jake seemed excited after getting a whiff of the contents so I spooned an amount into his dish and crossed my fingers.  The food lasted about 30 seconds, only because Jake spent several moments licking his dish not once, but twice.  Sigh of relief from me, to be honest.  We had something he was interested in eating.  The cottage cheese, pumpkin, and yogurt would be given a rest.  Fast forward to about an hour after he finished his meal….

Sitting in the living room after taking a break from the computer, I was a bit surprised to see Jake get up as quickly as he can these days and walk from the room.  Normally, he’s an attachment to my left hip.  In less than a nanosecond I knew why he moved.  Green air produced by an older dog is lethal at best, and we now have doors and windows opened to air out the house.  Whatever he passed has permeated every room except the bedrooms at the far end of the house.  Good Lord!  Jake has decided that while it’s still comfortable outside, he wants to stay on the deck.  I can’t wait to hear from my neighbors because the gentle breeze is going to bring them a surprise.  My well intentioned deed won’t be repeated tomorrow morning, I can assure everyone of that.

Here’s what I didn’t take into consideration – Jake is a senior pup, over 11 years old now.  His digestive system has been impacted by the gall bladder issue, and the impact of the medications he’s now taking.  Adding the additional protein at a level he’s not accustomed to wasn’t all that smart on my part, even though the portion given to him was small (about three tablespoons) but it was more than enough to insure that Jake and I are sleeping with the windows wide open and the door to the back yard left open just enough for him to slide through.

Sometimes we make decisions with all sorts of good intentions in mind but we get figuratively smacked in the back of the head with unintended consequences.  Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I think it’s far more practical to accept the consequences and revise the initial decision to insure that those consequences aren’t repeated.  It’s okay to make mistakes because we tried to do something right or good.  It’s worse to simply do nothing and make no decisions because we’re afraid of what might happen.  Jake will get through this and his digestive system will settle back into what is his new normal.  I’ll be on the receiving end of some more green air, along with a couple of dirty looks from Jake.  And the upside to all this?  For a couple of moments since that devastating day in March, I actually was glad that Bailey and Elliot weren’t here.  Jake is a rank amateur compared to how quickly Elliot could clear a room and Bailey wasn’t half bad herself.  Even in the midst of the green air cloud, there is a positive.

How NOT to Implement Change!

A while back, we posted some thoughts on implementing change in difficult times.  I got to thinking about the approach we developed when I came across the recent activities of YG Entertainment in Korea.

I don’t normally follow entertainment companies in any country.  I do like some of the music performed by the talented singers and dancers so when I run across something new, I usually take a look.  I came across YG Entertainment while doing some research on white collar criminal activities and found some interesting reading on YG.   I then started wondering how the organization was going to come through this mess.  Switch from criminal justice interest to leadership and implementing change interest.

Our sense is that YG has apparently taken the “hunker down and let’s hope this storm passes quickly” approach.  Good idea?  Not so much.  If I were to make a site visit to YG right about now, I’m pretty sure what we’d find – a staff that is struggling to get ahead of the storyline, a sense of wondering when the next shoe is going to drop, and pretty much a sense of just going through the motions.  At this point, here’s where YG could be making a clean break from the rather tawdry past of the former chief executive and make a clean and fresh start.  That takes some insight and knowledge of how change impacts people and organizations.  One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t close your eyes and bull ahead, hoping that the past is finally left behind and the change will take hold.  You might get some short term changes but those won’t last.

Here’s a thought – YG Entertainment, we know how to help you.  Best thing is that we don’t have a horse in this race and our only agenda is helping you implement some much needed change. You handle the business end.  We’ll assist with the people issues.  Give us a call!

Welcome to my Monday

If we can adapt to sudden changes in schedules in our personal lives, might we also apply those same skills to adapting to sudden changes in our professional lives?  Here’s a sample of what I’m thinking.
My family and close friends rarely, if ever, use the term “normal” in reference to me. I like using that term and do so frequently, probably in hopes of persuading them. So I had high hopes this morning.
This Monday started out like a “normal” Monday for me – time spent with Jake in the cool morning, weekly calendar reviewed, emails checked, and favorite background music playing in the office. That’s about as far as I got on the normal scale. When I went to feed Jake and give him his daily dose of cottage cheese (which I can’t stand, by the way), I found that the container felt like it was glued down to the shelf. And there I discovered that a container of honey glaze had leaked onto the glass shelf, gluing everything in place. Trust me, it wasn’t on my schedule this morning to spend the next two hours cleaning my refrigerator and freezer (I’ll explain that in a moment) and rearranging the shelves. I was planning to spend time writing an abstract for a proposed workshop presentation next year. But as I cleaned up the spill and looked at the items that had migrated to the back of the shelf, I ended up cleaning every shelf and drawer. I found some interesting stuff, too. Why I had a jar of kosher pickles, I have no clue. Like cottage cheese, kosher and dill pickles are not welcome in my home. How is that the short jars always seem to be hiding behind the taller jars? Why is that?
Oh, and the freezer. I made the mistake of opening the freezer door after cleaning the refrigerator when I heard an ice cube fall from the ice maker to the bottom shelf. Ever have that experience where you spill something on the counter and after cleaning it up, you extend the cleaning to the point where all of the counters are cleaned and rearranged? That’s sort of what happened with the freezer. When I picked up the ice cube, I noticed a couple of Jake’s hairs – need I explain any further?
Have a great Monday, folks, and enjoy the rest of your week. I plan to do just that.


There are any number of definitions for the word, “dedication.” I like the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition which defines dedication as, “self-sacrificing devotion and loyalty.” (Retrieved from:

We have examples of dedication all throughout our lives. We see it in students who work through difficult classes and graduate with honors from colleges and universities all across this country. We see it in athletes who are not blessed with natural ability but through hard work and perseverance, they individually achieve a skill level that allows them to excel in their chosen sport. We see it in individuals who experience a horrific tragedy in their lives and turn that devastating experience into something positive. We see it in the dedication and passion of victim advocates across the country, striving to provide assistance, compassion, and understanding to victims of crime and crisis. These dedicated professionals usually see people at the lowest moment in their lives and yet, each one of these victim advocates works to let that victim know that he/she has value and is an important part of the lives of many other people.

Dedication is also seen in the members of our communities who step up and provide safe and secure homes for children who have been abused and/or deeply traumatized. Despite the many challenges these foster and adoptive families face on a daily basis, they are dedicated to making a positive change in the lives of these children. Often meeting challenges that make them want to simply sit down and cry, they take a moment to take a deep breath, and renew their dedication and promise to these youngsters – that somehow, some way, their foster and adoptive parents will make things better.

As members of the community, we can surely help these dedicated individuals by dedicating ourselves to helping them achieve their goals. In difficult times, our communities can come together to make the futures for such youngsters much brighter and far more hopeful.

Dedication to Excellence

Respect and Honor

Today, 11 November 2018, is Veterans Day in the U.S, and the 100th anniversary of the guns of the “Great War” going silent all across Europe. If we were to believe the TV commercials, radio ads, and newspaper inserts, this day is all about what fantastic sales are going on and what a great price we can get on virtually anything we want to buy.
But I think it is important that we stop thinking about today as nothing more than a great day to go buy things. I happen to think the same thing about Memorial Day. Both of these days are set aside to honor the military. But how many of us know what the significant difference is between the two, other than one falls in May and one falls in November?
We celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. This is a special holiday set aside to honor all the men and women who died while serving in the military. The purpose of this day is to provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the service and patriotism of those who gave their lives to protect and defend our nation.
In contrast, Veterans Day is a day set aside to recognize all those individuals who have served in this country’s armed forces. Originally called Armistice Day, over the years and generations, Veterans Day has evolved into a recognition and celebration of the service and contributions of the members of our military. It is not simply recognizing those who are currently serving. But rather, it is the day to acknowledge the service of every military veteran.
Such service by our active duty and military veterans would not be possible without the love and support of their families. We need to acknowledge that families are the backbone of support for many veterans and active-duty service members.
So, for one day at least, let us strive to come together as a grateful nation to honor those past and present military veterans who made a contract with our nation, payable up to and including their life, to protect and defend those very liberties which we all hold so dear.



A few random thoughts

I recently saw an update on the three young boys I met about three years ago.  It’s really gratifying to see how much they have changed in the years since meeting them.  All three are now in pre-school or school and, for the most part, doing well.   They have worked hard to deal with the issues their situation forced upon them.  At each step, they have been supported by a wonderful loving family.  Their adoptive mom has worked equally hard to create as normal a home for them that she can.  She, in turn, has been fully supported by her family and friends, all of whom have taken these three young boys into their hearts.  Yes, there have been setbacks, some bureaucratic in nature and some resulting from the boys’ struggles to deal with their issues.  But the setbacks have been offset to some degree by the forward steps these young boys have experienced.  Educational goals have been set and met.  Behavioral goals have been set and met.  Social skills goals have been set and met.  I love the fact that the oldest boy and I have an arrangement  involving books and I don’t know who’s having the most fun.

I love the fact that these boys, finally enveloped in the arms of a loving family, have shown all of us the true power of love.  It will never erase the memories or even some of the scars they each carry with them, but it does show them that life doesn’t always have been lived in the darkness of abuse and pain.  Love will show each of these truly lovable boys that they are worthy of seeing the better things in life.  Each of them has value and I, for one, can’t wait to see how they will change their little slice of the world for the better.

Did I Just Figure It Out?

For some time, I’ve been trying to figure out why some organizations continue to experience the same management issues time and time again with no solution in sight. I admit that I’ve been trying to figure out why the issue of victim abuse is met at times with a “so what” kind of attitude. I’ll also admit that I don’t understand why we aren’t working harder in all venues to try to stop the abuse of individuals, especially children, the elderly, and other other vulnerable populations. But recently, I had an encounter with some folks at Microsoft and I think I finally figured it out.
I despise the Microsoft Office’s error filled grammar check tool that comes as part of that program. Whoever programmed that inane tool apparently doesn’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its,” just to cite one example. Fast forward to a telephone conversation with an tech and her supervisor. The tech’s solution – if it bothers me so much, why do I continue to use their product? Now why didn’t I think of that? Anyone want to guess the response I got from talking with her supervisor? He admitted that he doesn’t really know English grammar and their programmers rely almost exclusively upon customer comments posted in discussion threads to see what they might need to fix. No discussion thread? Apparently there’s nothing to fix.
So our efforts to address victim abuse might be getting the same response. No real effort to identify and address the problem means no discussion. No discussion thread? Apparently there’s nothing to fix.
We need to change that perception. We need to engage in a creative, collaborative discussion to finally, once and for all, develop and implement solutions that will end the abuse of any victim, young, old, or in between. Let’s get this discussion thread going and keep it in operation until victim abuse is appropriately addressed or, better still, ceases to be. Will you actively join me in that discussion and search for a realistic solution?

(P.S. Yes, I have turned off the grammar check. You can call me an honor graduate of the Microsoft approach to problem solving.)