Archive for August, 2011

So for those of you who do not know me. I am not the one to usually hold my tongue as a matter of fact last night I was threatened by my good friends fiance with bodily harm if I influenced him into not marrying her. Being that I do not hold my tongue many of my friends and associates create, save and use some mean comments and back-handed compliments in the company of me and other associates. Immediately these actions are softened with a “well John at least we do not talk about you behind your back.” Being who I am I always fire back with my canned response of “I would rather remarks like this be said behind my back than to my face, when it’s behind my back it is gossip to my face is just insulting and rude.”

Keep in mind when you make comments to harm someone, that is what you are doing. The fact that you have the brazen “courage” to erase anonymity means nothing for the person you are trashing. Hello you are still trashing him. A good rule of thumb has always been the golden rule… We should treat others the way we would like to be treated. I know it’s simple, but I adhere to ocams razor, and the kiss principle keep it simple and when I was a service member the last part was stupid but since I am trying to treat others the way I wish to be treated let’s skip the last s.





It’s that time of year again. The buses are out on the roads the kids are on the busses in the parks and at the schools. The air is thick with an anxious, anticipatory feeling which runs in tandem with learning.  I have mostly fond memories of my time spent in prison …. ere I mean grade school.  What I remember most about my time in grade school was the feeling that the sky was the limit. I have the wonderful city of Cleveland public schools and very supportive parents to thank for this.  My last statement is truly genuine, I really did and still do feel as though “the sky is the limit”. Honestly with the application of knowledge there is nothing you cannot accomplish. After grade school and into high school I still carried that wide open feeling however, this feeling was honed by the school guidance counselors into a more focused effort to find a field, a craft or art. I begin to think and feel that ones  identity was intrinsic with the job he or she performed. I am assured that, my thoughts  during my high school years concerning ones identity and vocation, where not a solitary pursuit. “So where are you working now?” was a favorite question at every family reunion I ‘ve ever visited.  Me being the joker I am have always answered back with a snappy retort “I am a bum, a blood donor, a beggar any wayward profession. ” I learned two things from my rapt wit employed in my family conversations  at the family reunions. One is, you are never to old to be spared a smack from your mother and the other was that when people do not share the same school of thought as you it is rude to not play along with them.

See I am of the school of thought that dictates you are tied not to what you do but how you do it.  There are needs for many positions in our society and often times what we find at work is despite our job title we are required to “wear many hats”. completing different tasks to get the job done is what work is all about and that is why it is not the task that matters but how the task is completed. Was the task done in a timely efficient and high quality fashion? Yes well then you sir or ma’am are a individual of high-caliber if not, well let’s get hard at it then.

peace john3c

Walt fed 30 people!!

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

So what did you do Saturday? Me I helped two women from the church at the soup kitchen feed 30 people. Ok so you probably want some clarity. I am not Walt I am John. About two Saturdays a month I volunteer my Saturday to a local soup kitchen ran by the church I attend. The church is Westside Baptist Church, and the soup kitchen is Feed my lambs.   When I first started attending church some three years ago I saw an announcement in our church bulletin it seemed that Walt was looking for volunteers to help in the church’s soup kitchen.  For some reason I decided I would love nothing more than to spend my Saturdays cooking and serving people between the hours of 5 and 7 pm. So here is my shameless plug…. If you are hungry and in the Hinesville area on Saturdays between the hours of 5 and 7pm please stop by Westside Baptist church. If you are hungry and in hinesville during the week visit the manna house. The thing is there is no reason anyone in Hinesville GA should go hungry.

The first Saturday that I worked the soup kitchen no one but myself and Ruth showed up, we played a mean game of scrabble turned out the lights and noted in the soup kitchen log the attendance for my inaugural philanthropic endeavor. If one was to visit the soup kitchen and look through the soup kitchen log it would become painfully clear that the soup kitchen attendance did not rise above 5 for over a year. The first time I was at the soup kitchen and the attendance did rise above 5 and reach 15 Walt stopped by during clean up and struck up a conversation with me. Walt explained how the city had changed over the years. I commented on the crowd and how the higher numbers where encouraging. Walt went on to explain that less than 3 months ago he prayed before he opened the doors and let God know, that if know one showed that night would be the last night he would close the doors for good. Someone showed up that night someone very hungry Walt feed him and sent him on his way. Fast forward to yesterday 30 people showed up. There where children mothers and fathers. One individual who showed has been coming for 5 months now. I like to talk and struck up a conversation with this individual I opened the conversation with my old reliable “How’s life treating you?” The young man responded with an empathetic “Great!”. He then went on to explain how he just started his job at the local library. This was great he was right. I was so happy to hear this news. This young man seemed on the edge and hearing his good news made me feel great and made me really find new-found respect for Walt his perseverance and the volunteer movement.   Good job Walt hears to 30 more!



I am SERIOUS!! watch my feet

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

I grew up in a one income home. Dad worked and mom stayed home, it was just like a Donna Reed show. Just kidding it was a great childhood but not Donna Reed. My mom did what all stay at home moms did to raise money. No no she didn’t sell tupperware or Mary Kay she baby sat kids. My mom and dad had four kids during the summer the four kids multiplied. At any given time during our summer break their could very well be 12 to 15 kids at the house. I remember one time when mom was watching kids we where all in the living room and the younger kids where getting rambunctious. A young girl stopped mid craziness and said to two other of the young boys. “Now I am serious!” The moment was hilarious! The young girl was at the magical moment, I like to call it Tabula Rasa. I am certain she was simply speaking words she heard from either her mom or dad.

I love the statement. I am serious! I have heard this statement uttered by other children and adults and every time I hear it I can imagine that moment. Another statement I love is one I tell every basketball team I have coached.  “Watch my feet” Now I know I have promised no sports talk so I will briefly break my promise. In basketball defense is one of the most important concepts. The team can be distracted easily but the key to defense is to watch the feet of the offense and cut the offense path to the basket off. In life many men and women will tell you that they are serious. My suggestion is to “watch their feet”.  What we do is more important than what we say.

Our actions are truly what define us!



Firing on all cylinders

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I pulled into the work parking lot smoothly and parked in the same parking spot that I have  parked in since I started working at the office. What was different then? The smoothly part. The day before yesterday the ride from my house to my parking space was not at all smooth. See my car has been misfiring on cylinder 6 for 3 weeks now.  I love to drive cars but I am not at all a gear head. Ok ok let me explain a little better. I will watch a few episodes of Top Gear but I am not rebuilding engines outside in my garage.  I will change the oil and switch out an alternator but that is about all the repairs/maintenance I will engage in. So 3 weeks ago when the check engine light came on and the car began to sputter and lurch (see not smooth at all) I drove to the local Auto Zone. Auto Zone is a chain retailer for car parts another service they offer is free diagnostic testing. The young man behind the counter came out to the car, plugged in the hand-held tester into my car’s dashboard and let me know that the car was misfiring on cylinder 6. After the purchase of six new spark plugs their installation at the local garage, and also the purchase of an ignition coil and it’s installation at same garage. My car was running smoothly and the check engine light has disappeared. I could go on and on about the details of the car repairs or the great staff at Auto Zone and the local garage but I will not (trust me though they where life savers). I will say this though when the check engine light came on and the car quit running smoothly.

I knew something was wrong  and I immediately went to an expert (the free diagnostic tester at auto zone). Sometimes in life we will get check engine lights, I have also heard them described as red flags. Events within our interactions that are not normal and unhealthy are definite check engine lights. My advice when you get these lights is to see an expert, someone you trust with age and wisdom and have them run a diagnostic after that do whatever is necessary to “fix” your engine because there is nothing better than a smooth ride



I’ve sleept most of my life.

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

“I’ve spent the first 11 years of my life sleeping so I don’t do much sleeping anymore.” That quote is from the movie: “Matrix Reloaded”. The movie was a popular science fiction flick and if you like science fiction you should definitely give it a go. In the movie the Matrix the world is taken over by robots. The robots have enslaved humans and keep them in a sleep like state so that they can harvest them for energy.

I am writing about the movie not because of its fast moving plot, great action or amazing special effects. I am writing because of the sleep quote. I have used the terms “in the dark” and ” half asleep” used to describe individuals who are not pragmatic. I have also heard of these individuals being called blind. I think about the sleep, dark, blind state a lot more now, with the upcoming presidential primaries in the U.S. and the excessive amounts of hyperbole employed. I hope that I can remain guardedly optimistic in this upcoming election and not asleep or in the dark.



When is it time to quit?

Posted: August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Last Sunday the marquee outside of the church read surrender. The preacher went on in his sermon to give the story of a Japanese attachment stationed in Guam during WW II. The attachments mission was to engage the enemy in guerrilla warfare and to never give up. Because the attachment was so isolated a 1st lt. was still fighting the war in the jungles of Guam until 1979.

I started writing this  blog in response to a friend of mines challenge. My friend and I set out in February to see who could in the span of one year post the most. I am winning the challenge. When I questioned my friend she said she has all but given up on the challenge. With her giving up on the challenge and the preacher giving a sermon about surrender I got to thinking about giving up. What I wondered was, when is it time to quit? The answer became clear it is time to quit when one of two things happens. You have accomplished your mission or you cannot accomplish your  mission. So my parting thought is a quote from Winston Churchill. The quote was made at the height of the Allies involvement in the same war mentioned earlier in this post.

“Never, never, never, never give up.”