Easier Said Than Done

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could”. . .  Steve Jobs.

I’ve read a few books about Jobs and it seems he may have been a bit of a paradox in this area. Still a good quote, though.


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Opening Day

Today, Saturday 27, 2021 is Opening Day for both the East & West versions of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s 2021 Tour.

Congratulations to Worcester, MA and Seattle, WA for both having a matinee and an evening performance. From there, the show goes on, almost daily until December 30th.

If you have never seen TSO live, I suggest you add it to your bucket list. I have seen them three times, including once from the second row, center stage with our daughter Elissa.  When those flame throwers lit off, you felt the heat.

While there are many bands I’ve seen whose music I like better, TSO puts on the best performance, bar none. Period.

There’s no second-class seats at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. I want people to walk out of our shows speechless and still not believing what they have seen was possible. . . Paul O’Neill, founding member of TSO

Each version (East-West) will travel with 12 buses and 21 tractor-trailers. (2019 numbers)!

My exposure to TSO has lead me  to appreciate (and purchase) the music of some of the performers that move in and out of the band.  Names such as Alex Skolnick, Anna Phoebe, Al Pitrelli and Jane Mangini

Below is a homemade video I found on YouTube that gives you an idea of what it’s like, but nothing can duplicate being there. Trust me.


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Not About Indians & Pilgrims?

I’m 61 years old.

Why am I just learning this now, hearing about it on the radio while driving home yesterday after work?

I am ashamed.

The very interesting story from www.mountvernon.org

The proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.  New York City, October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

HT  MountVernon.org

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Starting Early With The Massacree

Since starting my blogging journey back in 2010, not a Thanksgiving has gone by where I have not paid tribute to a late, dear friend who introduced me to this song and even gifted me with a vinyl copy.

Tom & Nancy, circa 1972, about six years before I first met them.

While Thanksgiving is still 28 hours away (at least here on the East Coast), I won’t have much time available between now and then, so I’m getting a head start.

For the 11th time, I am dedicating this post to Tom Hartmann and his wife Nancy. While they both are no longer with us, the stories, fishing adventures, running  ambulance calls together and just quiet times we spent doing nothing together are some of the most precious memories of my life.

I’ve been teasing those around me that I plan on indoctrinating our granddaughter Adeline with the song this year so one day when I’m gone, there will be someone to carry on the tradition.

Our tribe has lots to be thankful for and it will be a small gathering Thursday, just family and a friend of mine who’s wife will be working and out of town.

Virtual hugs and Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all those far and wide and remember. . .  You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant.

The original, vinyl version.   Thanks, Arlo.

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Don’t Touch The Baby

I do not believe that Megan and Andrew have to worry about anyone trying to kidnap Maddox.

Winnie, the needy goofball that she is, just will not let that happen.

Maddox, two weeks old in the picture above,  came into this world,  blessed with two great dogs, Winnie and Martha. They will grow up together, exploring and being first best friends.

“A good dog will make an ordinary life extraordinary”…. RJV

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Share Both

I am not sure where this story is going to end up, or if it will even make sense when it is completed, but however it ends, I am called to share it.  An hour later, as I edit it out, the lesson found herein is as much an admonishment  to myself as it is anything else.

While attending the 20th annual Charleston Leadership Prayer Breakfast with several others from our company, I was once again reminded that there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to anyone’s struggles, victories and defeats. The event was again hosted by Seacoast Church  and while I haven’t seen the attendance figures, there appeared to be a  few thousand “in-person” attendees and several thousand watching the live feed.

Some of our struggles, victories and defeats might be found on the pages of the newspaper, FB, or maybe even on television. They are there for the world (or anyone who might care) to see.

Some may be contained within a small circle of family, friends, co-workers or even bloggers.

Some may simply exist between us, the mirror and our God.

My “mirror” where I ruminate on my struggles, victories and defeats.

Regardless of how your story may play out and during these days of division (“me vs you/us vs them”),   all humanity shares the common bond of struggles, victories and defeats.

The keynote speaker at this year’s Leadership Breakfast was Shannon Bream of Fox News. I will be candid and admit that I had low expectations for the address. I knew very little about Shannon other than that she was an anchor for Fox and probably attractive, smart and successful.   Her story would be just one of victories, right?   Once again, I was wrong and am not ashamed to admit it.

Shannon shared her journey to today, including working countless hours for next to nothing so as to gain the skills and relationships to be at the right place at the right time to take advantage of an opportunity.  She also talked of her suffering from an incurable disease that almost ended her career.  She told of the two times she was seriously considering completing suicide because of the pain and hopelessness of her medical condition. Instead, she continued to place her trust in God and that trust sustained her.

Shannon, both life-size and larger than life.

Her enduring trust in God’s plan for her life turned out to and continues to be her greatest victory.

Shannon’s was a very public testimony, but we all know people who live, not in the bright lights of a TV studio, but in the often shadowy light of everyday life . . . struggling, winning and losing.  The rest of us are out there also . . struggling, winning and losing.

Let us not forget the power of a simple telephone call, handwritten note of even a text message.   A saying I learned 39 years ago. . .

“Joy shared is joy increased. Pain shared is pain diminished”

Share Both

Mark 9:24





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Yes, I’m Almost That Old

I’ve reached the age where artists I’ve never heard of are covering songs of other artists I’ve never heard of.


Additionally, when I hear award shows being reported on the radio news,  rarely do I recognize the name of a movie, band or actor.

No regrets and my life is getting simpler every day.  Below is a cartoon of me in just a few years and my story will start with talking about music.


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A Good Lesson For A Good Day

Please do not be scared by the title of the video below.  The reality is that it has very little to do with cigars, but also everything.

There are valuable lessons and admonitions to be found in the nine and a half minutes.

I never heard of this guy until last night, but I connected with him on several levels. . .  so much so, I wanted to share it without telling what resonated with me. (If the truth be told, everything.)

Find out for yourself and please share your thoughts with me.


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A Colorful Day Reminded Me . . .

Autumn in our part of South Carolina is fairly predictable… It might be in the low 40’s in the morning, but the temperature is likely to be close to 70 during the afternoon, before it drops rapidly after sunset and we have a frost advisory for tomorrow morning.

Sweatshirts in the morning and shorts in the afternoon.

The Maple trees seem to be a bit brighter this year and bloggers are writing about them

David Kanigan, Here

Steve Landry, Here

I thought of an old song from 1972 Album that was made famous by the instrumental song, Frankenstein. The album was named They Only Come Out At Night, (not a weak song on it!) the band was The Edgar Winter Group and the song . . .  Autumn.  Written by the late Dan Hartman, it is a folksy, love ballad.


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Congratulations to the United States Marine Corps  as they celebrate their 246th birthday today.

When Sh*t gets sideways, the men and women of the USMC are there to protect us and straighten things out.

There is a song I heard many years ago and I have posted it each year on this day.

Willy Porter performing Hard Place. If you are a guitar player, you will appreciate how ridiculously difficult this song is to play.

The sentiment, rings true today and everyday.

Oorah and thank you  to all our Marines, past, present and future.


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