Category Archives: Accountability


I’ve noticed I’ve caught myself whining a lot more lately, and I have to say I don’t like it. Little stuff, big stuff, big stuff that should be little stuff, medium-sized stuff that I make into little stuff that feels like big stuff; I’m whining about it. And it’s not constructive whining – it’s the kind of whining that says “Hi, I’m part of the problem, not part of the solution.

So I turned over a new leaf on my birthday last week. No more whining; better said, no more non-constructive whining. In other words, if the whining isn’t moving the peanut closer to the goal or spinning the negative into a positive then it’s off-limits. Granted I broke that resolution pretty much every day last week, unfortunately, but I’m back on track this week.

I much prefer the positive outlook. It tends to make things work so much smoother.  What’s really coincidental is that the graphic I found on the left (courtesy of Hugh McLeod) is one I ran across after I had written this post (it was in Evil Plans: Having Fun On The Road To World Domination – HIGHLY recommended book).  Suppose Somebody is trying to tell me something?

Continue reading Whining


(thanks for the pic,

Yeah, I kinda screwed up. I was in Denver from Tuesday night until this evening.  That wasn’t the screw up.  I got to enjoy a partial view of the Rocky Mountains and Coors Field from the conference room I commandeered for the trip.  That wasn’t the screw up, either.  My first stop upon returning home was Starbucks, because I REALLY needed something with a sugar kick.  Still not the screw-up.

I didn’t exercise at all short of making the walk from 18th and California to the 16th Street Marketplace every day for lunch.  That was the screw-up. Even with an exercise room in the hotel (with treadmills, a bike, weight machines and the like) I didn’t work up any sort of a sweat.  Even with being an hour behind and going to bed before 10pm every night I didn’t roll out of bed until I needed to in order to make it to the office by 7ish.

I felt lousy on Wednesday morning; major headache, stuffy head.  That was my excuse.  Thursday morning I had another (less severe) headache.  Friday morning I was having the weirdest dream when I kept dozing back into unconsciousness (basically I was kind of paralyzed but not paralyzed enough to leave my house, magically end up at a friend’s house 10 miles away in their spare bedroom without their knowledge; it was much weirder than it sounds, trust me).  Grand excuses.

And that’s all they are.  I didn’t oversleep (I had three alarms set just in case – every day woke up with the first one and snoozed on through).  I wasn’t even exhausted (I was mentally awake and did not have an issue getting out of bed).  I just lost the motivation to get up or something.  It was strange.  I don’t know if it was the different location or what, but I just lost all motivation.  I rationalized it in my mind, yelled at myself in my mind and generally tried to encourage myself to get up.  No dice.

So we’ll see what Saturday morning brings.  Planning on getting the kiddos up and walking with them in the am – maybe we’ll hit IHOP for some breakfast or coffee or something.

I’ll keep you posted.  I’m outta here…with my Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (and yes, it’s as good as it sounds).

Day 4

Day four: done.

I’m not going to succumb to the illness I typically fall victim to during the beach volleyball off-season.  Not “will try not to” or “will attempt not to” – I won’t.  I’m determined not to gain another extra 10-15 pounds and end up so out of shape that the first month of the new season is effectively lost with me trying to regain my old form.  Not playing that game anymore.

So I’m on a diet/exercise routine.  Not a diet as in Weight Watchers or whatever – I’m just eating differently.  More fruit (that’s all I eat in the mornings…although a cup of coffee is still in my hand), a salad with every meal, and sometimes dinner is a protein-enhanced smoothie from Roxberry Juice.  I’m also exercising for at least 20 minutes every morning (typically it’s 30+) and then I’m headed off to Dunn Bros to kick back with a cup of coffee and some peace and quiet (and sometimes my computer).

I’ve made it through four days thus far with complete success.  This morning was a little rough Continue reading Day 4

July 17

So what happened on July 17???

I did three things.  None were quite what I had expected, but frankly I didn’t know what to expect when I circled July 17th on the calendar.  I just decided that I needed to do something big to get out of the rut.

I’m not totally out of said rut yet, but the three decisions I made are good steps in that direction.

First:  I moved.  Just out to Lees Summit (from Grandview), but a move is a move.  Change of scenery, change of atmosphere.  It’s further from family, further from work, further from my passion (beach volleyball out at Volleyball Beach), but it’s a change, and that’s good.  And what’s really nice is that I’m within walking distance of downtown where there’s some good eating, a nice little coffee shop, the train station and a few bars.  Very cool.

I’m also going paperless.  Yes, that’s right – I’m giving up the stores of paper I have.  This is going to take some time, but I’ll get there.  Having things digital is SO much more convenient.  I can view anything easily without having to find the file cabinet.  I can do it on my iPhone, my computer or any place that has a web connection.  It’s awesome.

And it’s also helpful for number three which is: going minimalist.  Not as in I’m going to wear nothing but a Speedo everywhere I go (that would be “going obscene”, not “going minimalist”), but as in being able to fit everything I own into a small, predefined area.  I cleaned out my closet – took two full bags of stuff to Goodwill.  I trashed or gave away nearly all my tools, keeping only my miter saw and one large toolbox plus a cordless drill.  I cleaned out everything.  My immediate goal was to have everything I own fit in my car.  Done deal.  My goal is by the end of the year to have everything I own be able to fit in two purple buckets (except that saw, which wouldn’t fit there).  That’s going to force me to make some difficult choices, but it’s worth it.  That gives me the flexibility to up and go wherever I need to whenever I need to. 

Plus it’s SO much less stressful.  I never realized how much stuff caused me to worry.  I would worry about someone stealing all my stuff.  Or the kids breaking my stuff.  Or me losing my stuff.  Or that kind of thing.  Not any more.

OK, signing off for now, but keep checking back for status updates.

Because July 17 is just the start.

Can I Get An Extension?

Any chance I can get an extension?

Remember how I mentioned my July 17 date ?  Yeah, well that’s like 6 days away.  I’m hoping you’ll be kind enough to me to grant me an extension of that to, say, 2012?  That way I can hope the Mayans were right and the world actually ends before I have to figure out what the heck I’m going to do.

Actually I’m kidding.  I do know what July 17 means; just going to take some serious knuckling down to get it there.  That’s OK – that’s why I put the date out there (so it forces me to actually not procrastinate until the end of time).

By the way, if you haven’t been, make sure you follow me on Twitter ( and Facebook (  Thought I’d throw that in – never hurts to get connected on all the social networks.

See you next week.

Way Too Much Crap

For those with sensitive ears: I apologize in advance.

The word “crap” is going to be used an awful lot in this post, I suspect.  Why?  Because over the course of a few years I’ve accumulated a lot of it.  And now that we’re moving from a 2,400 square-foot, 5-bedroom house to a 1,300 square-foot, 3-bedroom townhouse the crap has become readily apparent.

So to put your mind at ease – we’re just moving from Grandview to Lees Summit.  There is nothing wrong, and we’ll still be around here.  I’ll just have a bit longer drive to partake in each day, but since we have a kiddo with autism (Caleb) and Lees Summit schools are ranked #1 in terms of autism support in the state of Missouri…there you go.  This past school year has been particularly challenging with him, so we’re looking to move to a school district that is better equipped to help.

That being said, where we’re moving to doesn’t reduce the amount of crap I have.

It’s a lot.

Even after looking at minimizing my stuff last year I still have a lot of crap.  Useless stuff; at least now it’s useless.  I have a Sony Handycam video camera purchased probably 7 or 8 years ago.  Used: once.  It’s for sale.  I have dozens of books never read.  For sale.  A Sony A100 I kept when I bought my Nikon.  For sale.  CDs: for sale.  Inkjet printer: for sale.  Laptop: for sale.  Games: for sale.  You get the idea.  Lots of stuff.

And clothes.  I thought I was doing awesome earlier this year when I pared down my wardrobe.  Yeah, not so much.  Until this morning, that is, when I went through all my clothes and narrowed it down to basically enough for a week.  That’s it.  So if I forget to do laundry I’m coming to work in slippers and pajamas.  Or I’m heading to Starbucks in shorts and a t-shirt in the dead of winter.  Or something equally as disturbing. 

I qualify all this as “crap” because it’s taking up space and not serving any real purpose any more…except to make me feel better that maybe sometime in the next few years I might need it.  That’s a safety net I really don’t need.

So I’ve made a decision.  When I sell the house there are a number of things that will stay with the house as part of the package.  All the appliances.  The riding mower.  The HDTV.  The table saw.  All our yard stuff.  The server rack.  All the wi/fi, routers and switches we use to bring data to the house.  And other stuff.  Assuming, of course, the people purchasing it want it (if not I’ll toss it on craigslist). 

OK, that’s the end of my rant for the day.  I’m spending tomorrow packing (headed to Vegas, baby!), doing the Mothers Day thing and consolidating with this goal in mind:  I want everything I own (save for major furniture like beds, dining room table, sofa, etc.) to be able to fit comfortably in the back of my car.  Is that reasonable?  No doubt – it’s easily reasonable,  because the less crap I have the less my mind goes to it and the less cluttered, well, my life is.  That’s a good thing.  I’m not intending on living out of my car – just want to have the peace of mind that I’m not storing bunches of stuff I don’t need, and the back of my HHR is a pretty decent size to use as a gauge, I think.

Side note: if you know anyone looking for a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house with 2,400 square feet of living space, a basement, 2-car garage and nice large yard – put them in touch with me.  We’ve done some upgrades in the last few years (new carpet, a new roof, new gutters, new kitchen, new paint, etc.).  It’s not in the Kansas City school district, so you don’t have to worry about the “hey, we’re closing a bunch of our schools” thing.  And since it’s not in Kansas City proper (although it’s about a quarter-mile – if that – from Kansas City addresses) you’re not subject to the 1% Kansas City tax which is, basically, getting a 1% raise just for moving out of KC.  Can’t argue with that!

Signing off to go deal with more crap.

Congratulations New Orleans Saints

One mistake.

The difference between success and failure in any given moment is one little mistake.  Whether that’s not anticipating a cornerback’s break on the ball or a poor communication to your client, all it takes is one little mistake to move the needle from “victory” to “defeat” for that battle.  Unfortunately for perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time, Peyton Manning, that one little mistake – throwing the ball to Reggie Wayne and watching Porter break in front of it put the Indianapolis Colts in a solid second place in the NFL for the 2009-2010 season.

Likewise with your author – he had a friendly game going with some buddies, and that Manning pick put him in second place, as well (had Brees thrown the first interception I’d have won the league; had Peyton thrown a second interception in Colts territory it was mine, too).

But notice that when talking about Peyton Manning nobody is going to refer to him as “the former best quarterback in the NFL all-time”.  Why?  Because one moment doesn’t make or break us.  Losing a Superbowl is a battle in the war.  To keep in the football vein, does Brett Favre lose his awesomeness status because he lost to the world champion Saints?   No.  Do I hang my head in shame because I came in second in a pool?  No.  And does one little mistake in our lives define who we are?


I don’t care how bad that mistake is – one moment doesn’t define you.  Nor does one success define you, either.

What matters is how you rebound.  What you do after that failure (or success).  Winning a big account (victory!) is worthless if you don’t perform (failure).  Losing a client (bad) is inconsequential if you use that learning to land even more (good) or invest that time to better your business (good).  See where I’m going here?

Everybody fails.  That’s life.  It’s what happens after that matters.  If you learn from the failure that’s the important thing.  If you get back up that’s the key.  And if you then develop amnesia about the failure, there you go.

Have a short memory and let’s forget about that one mistake.

(and seriously, congratulations to the Saints – well fought, well deserved, and a heck of a great season for them)