Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pool Party

We had our first pool party of the year today. Of course I didn't get in the pool since the temperature wasn't quite at 90 degrees, but a large number of Janae's young women were over at the house playing around when I got home from an afternoon round of golf and they were all having a fun time.

Golf was great as usual. Mike won but I was happy with the way I struck the ball. Tee to green was solid, but my putting was horrible. I may switch back to putting left-handed since my right-handed putting is costing me too many strokes. I played left-handed around the green last year for about 6 months - I think I see the line better out of my right eye and that's what putting lefty will allow me to do.

Ba-ba-BRUCE. Mike and Wade joined me on the links today. As always, this is a VERY competitive group (but we missed you Steve!) In fact, anytime we play expect A LOT of trash talking and some physical contact. It's all about winning.

So I returned home with that good kind of tired after golf to find Janae, Holly and about a 1/2 dozen young women playing in the pool. More gals showed up as the afternoon and evening wore on. My mom even dropped by with some grub to nibble on. We even contemplated teaching Ms. Holly how to play pinochle but we were all laughing, and talking too much to even try to play a game let alone teach some the nuances of a complex game such as pinochle.

With all the people over I was worried about the canines but the dogs were actually pretty decent - we put Ray-Ray and Buddy in the dog run area on the north side of the property to neutralize them. Harmless little Zeus wandered around and ended up planted on the couch since he could easily escape the dog run area but had no desire to hang with a bunch of splashy-loud young ladies. The dog run area, aka "Texas" is gated, in the shade all the time and will provide a "timeout" area for several hours each day for the dogs pretty much for the rest of their life. Genius!

As the sun went down, we lit candles, torches and whatnot....the backyard looked peaceful and great. Life was beautiful...then the phone starting ringing.....

I'm sick of the phone ringing, and since we have caller ID, I can see who calls back to back or who let's it ring like 20 times. We quit using voice mail a few months ago so no one can even leave a message.... this DRIVES PEOPLE CRAZY. The people who need to reach me have my cell number - I don't even move when the house phone rings.

Life is good. It's late. It's nice to have the house alive again with the sounds of young people enjoying themselves. All the girls are still cackling but I'll leave rounding them up to Holly and Janae.....I'm off to bed.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Airport Security

I read an article today about how many Americans are fed up with the "hassle" of air travel and have opted to either forgo a previously planned trip, or else use an alternate means of going from point A to point B.

The cost of this ambivalence to the travel industry: $18 billion dollars.

Let's look at the "hassle" of airline travel shall we?

TSA security folks are staffed at all United States airports - serving both domestic and international flights.

Most TSA employees are TSA employees because:

1. 7-11 had no more openings
2. After having their police force applications rejected for the umpteenth time, this was the next best alternative.
3. Holding up hundreds, if not thousands, of people each day provides them with an ego boost that no other minimum-wage job can come close to satisfying.
4. The fact that we allow ourselves to be harrassed every single day by this inept corps of citizen-protectors is laughable.

I've said this before and I'll say it again:


I'm good with the metal detectors, and the x-ray scanners, but let's forgo FOREVER the need to take Grandma out of her wheelchair (twice) and drag her paralyzed ass through the x-ray machine 2, 3, or 4 times while Grandpa is over to the side quivering while leaning on his this what we have become? We are terrorizing our own citizens in our war on terror. Let's face it, the middle-eastern guys are responsible for just about all the bad stuff going on in the world from hijackings to suicide bombings in crowed markets that kill innocent people to parked cars blowing up next to schools. If it's bombing, someone from the middle east is probably behind it.

Because of the aforementioned, I'm a big proponent of racial profiling. All middle-eastern dudes should have their own line to go through at the airport and it should take them hours to get through it. This seems like a senisble solution as opposed to the thousands of hours spent daily frisking American children and grandparents.

Finally, check out this story:

A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour.

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At
French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry

"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly

"Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944, I
couldn't find a Frenchman to show it to."

Home is Good

I'm home.

On my flight back to Las Vegas I flew above and past Wade and Janae both of whom were on the 1-15 a few hours apart and laboring home in their nice cars at 85-90 mph.

While flying, I can zone out and listen to my world-class I-Tunes collection of songs, or else read yet another Vince Flynn or David Balducci USA-Against-the-World spy thriller. I'm still trying to wrap my head around downloading movies and tv shows on my ipod and want to leave that for '09. Then, I will have done everything.

Have I blogged about how much I hate the LV-SLC drive? In fact, I hate pretty much any drive these days. I would rather fly to Henderson than fight the traffic and drive there. I have nice cars too. I am just tired of having to be in constant "ON" mode. While driving, especially in Las Vegas, one has to be extra careful, wear a hard-hat (or racing helmet), have the navigation system updated weekly for new roads and carry a firearm in case things get dicey as they often do. I have another problem to worry about: I often leave a loaded firearm in one of my cars (I have a valid concealed weapons permit) and Alec, Tiffany, Janae or (gasp) my mom will speed off in my vehicle on a run to Von's. Heaven help them if they get pulled over by one of Susan Bunker's friends on the police force (she is ticketed for speeding frequently). News 3 would be at my doorstep. I have since taken the heat out of my cars, and just pack it in my pocket now. I forgot where I left my 45 for a few hours, but found it in my office. Good thing our kids are grown, huh? Janae, I promise to do better on keeping my guns accounted for. I just need to locate 3 more and the inventory will be complete.


Sort of.


I arose this morning to a rainstorm that turned into a hailstorm while in Salt Lake City. It was great. I was concerned the round of golf scheduled for later in the day would be cancelled, but the skies cleared, and I enjoyed a spirited round of golf with Wade, his in-law-Father/Brother (aka: the brides Dad Rob), and my dear friend Mark Foote, MD. The SLCC had just reopened about 3 weeks ago, and the greens were still a bit tough to read and roll, but I was happy with my ball-striking. It was a great round filled with laughter, some great shots, a few lousy ones, and a laid-back vibe. If I can just get my act together, sell everything, and move to SLC, I would be content. It's true, look it up.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dixon and Shaylee's Wedding

We are here in Utah and just got back from Dixon and Shaylee's wedding reception that was held at the Oakridge CC.

Shaylee is a Utah name for sure. People in Utah often make up names for their kids - especially on the girls side. For boys, they are often named after former church leaders or Book of Mormon prophets. These names (eg. Hyrum, Nephi, Ammon, Alma, etc.) will pretty guarantee their getting the snot kicked out of them throughout their childhood.

Girls get names like Utahna, RaeLynn, LaDawn, LaDonna.... A good rule of thumb is to take a "regular" name and put a "La" in front of it. The more kids a family has, the more they are inclined to either rhyme all of them, or start them all with the same letter. It's true. Look it up.

Dixon and Shaylee are a neat young couple and we wish them health and happiness for the rest of their lives. Reception #2 is in Las Vegas next week. The kids should be tan after a honeymoon in Cancun that starts tomorrow.

We also heard the good news that our niece Kadee is engaged to Troy. Troy is known throughout the family as a wonderful EFY counselor and is an expert dancer, singer and thespian. When together, Troy and Kadee cannot stop smiling - their glee cannot be contained. The wedding is in mid-July.

I gotta start working on my dance moves.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things That Annoy Me

Just some of the everyday things that annoy me...

Waiting at the Doctors Office

If I treated my clients with the same amount of indifference than most doctors, I would be out of business. The 9:30am appointment never starts on time. For example, I get there at 9:20 and sign in. At 9:50am I am called to go into the "inner" office where I get weighed and the nurse checks my blood pressure. While I'm in my little "cell" I can hear all sorts of commotion outside in the hallway but still the doorknob doesn't move. Nothing to read in there either - NOTHING.

I sit there and fidgit until 10:15 when the doc finally shows up. 3 minutes later I'm out of there. I just don't get the reason for the delay. Was the doc involved in an emergency heart procedure that began at 6am? Why no "Hey, I'm sorry for making you wait so long." No sincerity. No humility.


What's the deal with traffic? I'm sure Alec could come up with a mathematical equation that details traffic flow over a specific length of freeway or roadway, but isn't the purpose of a freeway to avoid traffic? If there isn't an accident, why does traffic even slow down? This will be a question left for future scientists to figure out. Perhaps sensors in our cars will one day eliminate traffic as we know it. We can only hope.


These guys are worse than doctors. Everyone has a favorite contractor horror story. Let's just say that contractors are horrible at keeping appointments, staying within their estimate, and getting the work done on time.

I've had work done on my house since the day I moved in there 6 years ago, and aside from some plumbing work done on my water heater, nothing ever goes right. I have projects around my house that were paid for and never completed. I want a luxury condo.I want to hire someone to finish all my projects.


Some things about golf bother me. Slow play bothers me. Players that look for a lost ball for more than a few seconds bothers me. Standing over the ball twitching for seconds on end before taking a whack at the ball is annoying. Lining up a putt like Tiger Woods and missing it by 4 feet is really embarassing. Guys that show up wearing knickers need to be really good golfers or else they should dress like the rest of us.

Take-Out Orders

Don't you hate it when they screw up your order at the drive-through window, or at Outback. Macayo's or Carrabba's takeout and you don't realize it until you get home? You get're a so hungry you're a starvin....and you realize they gave you the steamed veggies instead of the steak fries.


I love Tivo but I hate what the networks have done. American Idol ran over their 2 hour showtime and the Tivo didn't know this....thus our recording ended with Ryan Seacrest going, "And the winner of American Idol is....David...." That's when the recording stopped. This has happened to me before on The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars and I miss out on the live drama. I should sue somebody over this.

I know there is more stuff out there that bugs me.....I'll do a volume #2 shortly.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Another Trip

I leave tomorrow for Salt Lake City. This will be my 3rd trip in as many weeks. This schedule is enough to wipe me out. I like to travel but not one trip after another. I also prefer to unpack for a week and forget about the hustle/bustle of everyday life. Running in and out of airports and breathing all that crappy air week in and week out is tough. I also forgot my germ x on the Kentucky trip - no wonder I have a cold now. Janae? She would gladly be on the road each week of the year. She is a gypsy.

The family will descend on Bountiful, Utah on Wednesday to celebrate the wedding of Dixon Leavitt and Shaylee Anderson. The wedding is at 10am, then the reception is that evening. We've got a tee time scheduled for Thursday at the Salt Lake Country Club and am trying to squeeze another round in Wednesday afternoon.

The SLCC reminds me of Bushwood - the country club in the original Caddyshack film. The average age of the membership there is around 80 years old. When the old folks wander in for lunch or dinner, it is THE ONLY thing they do that day. We had dinner up there last year with some friends, and I counted at least half-a-dozen geezers nodding off during their meal. This is what we will be like in 35 years!

The magic sleep machine continues to work wonders and I would recommend a sleep test to anyone who has chronic fatigue. I'm glad I didn't blow the symptoms off. Living with sleep apnea is a slow death. I had stopped doing the things I loved to do one by one.....I'm 100% now and it feels great to wake up refreshed.

We hear from Jake again tomorrow. His letter last week was excellent - upbeat and cheerful. That's our Jake. We were so glad to hear that our other adopted son, Justin Hales, was called to serve in the Lima, Peru (Central) mission in September. We love South America! You are gonna love it J-Dog!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Louisville and The Travelers Assistant

Our flight to Louisville earlier in the week was a few hours late and we arrived at 3am on Wednesday. By the time we got to the hotel and dropped our bags off it was nearly 4am. We were starving and the only joint open was a "White Castle." WC is a fast food restaurant chain located primarily in the midwest. They are famous for their sliders. These are mini-hamburgers that come in 4-packs, 10-packs, and 20-packs "gut buster" sizes.

The four of us didn't think twice about heading out of the hotel to stroll the streets of downtown Lulvul (this is how the locals pronounce Looeyville) in the middle of the night.

The front desk gave us instructions to the nearest White Castle but we weren't paying attention and "wandered" outside when we were approached by a self-proclaimed "Travelers Assistant." Black guy, 4am, dressed in his street clothes, bad teeth...the get the picture. I thought to myself, "Who of us is going to live to tell this story? Who will comfort the families?"

Wade was happy to engage the guy in conversation while Davey, Mike and I increased our footspeed and crossed the street hoping he would wander off but he was like a puppy and wouldn't leave Wade alone. He was going on and on about he was indeed a "Travelers Assistant" and liked to "Hep people find their away around downtown.....y'all looking for the strip clubs?" He also said that he was getting a late start today for whatever reason and just really hit the streets.

Wade said, "Hey man, it's 4am and you are just getting started?" Our new black friend stammered, "I know, I know....the wife...." There he goes, blamin' the little woman for his late start to extorting money from strangers through intimidation and spirited banter.

This guy was so full of shit but he smelled of danger so I had my head on a swivel. The other guys in our group? No so much. They needed me.

And then the "Travelers Assistant" had more questions...

"Where y'all staying?"

"What are you here for?"

I turned around, looked him in the eye and said, "FBI meeting."


Mike pulled me over, and whispered in my ear, "Good one." You know, I do what I can do. It's hard always being the guy to come up with the clever lines but I somehow manage to do this. It's a gift.

Tyree followed us INTO the White Castle. Wade was STILL talking to him while Davey, Mike and I were peering around the corner while we fill up our soda's. Wade slapped him 5 bucks and said to get some food.

He said, "Man I need at least 15 bucks." Davey chipped in another 5. I had enough of this guy's bullshit and being tired, hungry, cranky, and now angry, I stiffed him as did Mike so he wandered off into the night with 10 dollars.

After he left a couple of guys wearing their hooded sweatshirts pulled over their heads showed up at the Castle and I had the feeling that they weren't as harmless as the guy who extorted the bucks out of my generous, but naive golf pals. We finished off the last of the burgers and onion rings (surely we would not sleep even if we tried) and plotted our run back to the hotel. Davey was in the lead, and Wade pulled up the rear. It's sort of like running from wild animals: All you have to do is run faster than the slowest guy. I have a good first step and am 100% confident that I would be Wade in a footrace on any surface. We exited a side door of the Castle and serpentined across the street and when the hotel was in sight, Davey was gone. The trail of pee barely visable.

Golf in Kentucky was great. Tall green trees, green hills, green fairways, ponds, streams, rivers, deer, hawks, and all sorts of other cool stuff. We walked A LOT.

We played two excellent courses; Hurstbourne CC on Wednesday, and legendary Valhalla for 36 on Thursday. Valhalla, to me anyway, is a better golf course than Pebble, Spyglass or Spanish Bay and is probably top 5 that I've played in terms of a pure golf experience (Torrey Pines, Firestone, PGA West and Olympic are all also excellent). Take away the ocean and the mansions, and Pebble Beach is a good course, not the Pebble Beach we know today. But that's like saying if the Queen had balls she'd be King. She doesn't and Pebble sits where Pebble's awesome.

Valhalla has a midwestern sensibility to it. No gimmicks. No blind shots. No Scandia-type putting greens. You get what you can see. Navigate the length, the rough, the traps, the trees, the water hazards, and you can shoot a decent score. Davey beat me by three shots on the gross but with the handicap adjustment my net score bested him by 6. He gets quiet when he doesn't score as well as he thinks he should. This concerns me.

Davey is a dear friend and I am fortunate to have an excellent business realtionship with him. We enjoy a wonderful, funny, competitive and spirited friendship - we do all sorts of impressions (verbal and physical AND both), we laugh at the same things, and act like we're 17 sometimes.... He's great at what he does, has a lovely and wickedly funny wife and beautiful family that includes 2 boys, 2 girls and a super nice dad. Here's the catch: If Davey shot better golf scores, it would probably mean he spends too much time away from the people that love him. I'd rather have him shoot the higher (but still great) scores, and know that his family sees alot of him too. It's called balance.

LOUISVILLE DINING TIP: Pat's Steak House is a gem of a restaurant that will take a GPS to locate. It's better than Morton's or Del Frisco' sure to bring cash because that's all they take.

And try the frog legs too.....they are tasty.

It's true. Look it up.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pebble Beach

What wuz I thinking?


Pebble Beach was, is and will forever be the best meeting of sea and land on the planet. The scenery is breathtaking. We lucked out and had record high temperatures in the 90's.

What is nice about the area is that it's pretty much free of the riff-raff that can invade beach towns. Carmel, Pebble Beach and Monterrey are all seriously upscale and quiet. The water temperature may have something to do with it.....even in the summer, it only gets into the 50's. It's a nice place to walk or sit on the beach, but you will die if you go swimming. Hypothermia will set in at 15 minutes and the body will shut down. It's true. Look it up. This means NO BIKINIS. This means no young men....they all head north to act their age.

One really cool thing about the beach there is that DOGS are allowed to run around. Playing golf, I would occasionally catch myself gazing at the surf and watching all sorts of canines fetch pieces of driftwood their owners would toss at them. The dog life there must be good.

Pebble Beach is corporate excess rivaled only perhaps by the Super Bowl. The pricing is such that you just don't even want to know and the old saying, "If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it," echoes throughout the pines trees. They could probably add 50% to their prices and people would still pay.


With the sleep issue I had not played golf in over a month, but with that problem now behind me thanks to the MSM (SEE BELOW), I was able to walk all three courses over a three day stretch and play pretty decent considering my apathy over the last little while. In fact, when I hit my tee shot on the first tee I breathed a huge sigh of relief...

Of course, playing with a bunch of insurance guys is bound to be comical. The guys I played with were so bad that I had to catch myself from either groaning or laughing out loud. At least they knew which tees to hit from since most golfers don't.

One old-timer from Sacramento, when asked what tees he wanted to hit from (white is closest, gold is middle, and blue is back - the tips), he said, "When I can shoot 72 from the whites, I'm moving back to the blues." FINALLY! A golfer with a brain bigger than his ego!

This makes perfect sense. I know waaaaay too many guys who stomp to the back of the tee boxes to play the back tees, and then shoot a 95....or worse.
By the way, my old-timer pal shot a 109 from the whites, so he won't be moving back anytime soon.

Spanish Bay is HARD since the wind blows and the track is tight. Links course. Pebble Beach was actually the easiest of the courses but jaw-dropping beauty all around is people everywhere walking around taking pictures and pointing at the golfers. Spyglass was, by far, the best golf course of the 3 I played. It was tough, fair, fun, and had both beach, and forest holes. Pretty cool.

What Wuz I Thinking?

I moved away from this area? Dunce cap for me.

I grew up close to Pebble Beach - about 90 minutes north in bucolic Los Altos, California. It's easily tne nicest place to live -in my opinion- anywhere on earth except for maybe London, or Paris. It has an "out in the country" feel to it, but is only minutes away from civilisation (UK Spelling) that includes an In 'N Out Burger, conveniences stores (but not on every corner), and what not. The sky is blue, and THERE IS NO WIND.

As Janae and I were driving back to the San Jose airport via the cities and towns of my youth such as Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Mountain View, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia for this area. It was the perfect time and place to grow up - the fondness I have for that part of the world will never fade.

Fate however intervened, and I somehow ended up at the University of ski. A few years later I was working at the Hotel Utah and that's where I met Janae.....who walked in off the street one day looking for a job. I've caught myself over the years at various times thinking to myself, "What if she never walked in that door?" Hmmmmmmnnnn......

Think about your own life....the decision you made to stay in one place or go far away when high school was over. Where did you go to further your career? Accepting or declining a date.... The totality of those small decisions helped build the life you lead today.

The Magic Sleep Machine (MSM)

I've used the machine for 6 nights now and I feel pretty much back to my old self. I am amazed at how good I feel and am grateful for the doctors, nurses, and technicians who all played a role in helping to dial in my diagnosis.

Thanks to Janae too for taking care of me - the first few nights I would wake up in the middle of the night and look up as she would be gently sliding my mask back in place. It beats getting poked for snoring like before.

Off to Louisville on Tuesday to play famed Valhalla.

Is life great or what?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Keith and the Magic Sleep Machine

Regular blog readers will know that sleep tests over the past 6 weeks have revealed I have a severe sleep disorder (I know, it sounds lame). I was prescribed a bipap auto sv machine to hook up to a mask that I wear at night and will be my sleep buddy for the rest of my life. Here are some early observations:

Day 1: I excitedly picked up my machine at 9am and spent a good 90 minutes learning the ins and outs of how it works with the technician so I wouldn't blow up the house or pop my lungs. I promptly drove home, put it together with Janae's patient help(I refused to look at the directions - obviously), strapped on the mask, hit the on button....and then fell sleep for 3 hours in the middle of the day. I was so tired. When I woke up, I shot out some emails and couldn't wait to hit the sack later that night for the real thing.

I woke up the next day feeling okay, not great. Thought to myself, "doesn't work, send it back." This is the impatient/bad Keith talking.

Day 2: Feeling better - woke up at 5:30am and said to myself, "Hell must have froze over," since I would never, ever, ever get up that early. I am pleased to also announce that I have already perfected my "middle of the night" turns where the prior night I had to be careful not to strangle myself with the hose. I had it wrapped around my neck on the first night like an umbilical cord. Tossing and turning isn't necessarily a good thing when one is tethered via 6' long tube to The Magic Sleep Machine. I actually used a scuba move about 4am to move the hose above my head. Piece of cake.

Today Janae and I left windy, windy, windy Las Vegas for Pebble Beach, California. Golf trips are fun, but lugging the bags is a hassle PLUS I have to take The Magic Sleep Machine wherever I go. Doc's orders. Since this is now my one and only carry on, I have to check everything else and stuff my sleep machine case with pills (only the good ones), my laptop (minus unwieldy cord), books, kitchen sink, and day planner (I'm old school, I need to write it down). The bag weighs a ton. It was laughable as I went through security. I needed 4 bins to get my glasses, watch, belt, shoes, jacket, laptop, sleep machine, sunglasses, chewing gum (the foil wrapper sets off the machine), through the x-ray machine and then walk barefoot (with socks) over a quadrillion germs. TSA gal hollers, "Bag Check." The line grinds to a halt. I look back and my fellow travelers are not happy.

All this security is so annoying. When is the last time someone other than a Middle Eastern dude actually hijacked an airplane? I'm gonna have to go with DB Cooper. He parachuted out of a Northwest Orient jet with $200,000 bucks back in the 1971. This is the last US based hijacking. Now, nearly 40 years later grandmother's get routinely hasseled going through security.....and guys with Magic Sleep Machines.

We flew into San Jose and had a nice drive over the mountains.....My old high school playground, Santa Cruz, sits a bit north, and the smells, and the air all brought back wonderful memories of the days of my romantic, colorful, and spirited youth. We stopped at a roadside cherry stand and had a blast eating cherries and tossing the pits out the window of the car as we sped toward Monterrey.

And so for the next few days I will be fortunate to play Pebble Beach, Spyglass, and Spanish Bay. We lucked out on the weather too since it should be in the 70's here and that is a heat wave.

Sleep beckons.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Follow Along Here.....

Random thoughts....


What is the deal with funerals where the casket is open, and the dead person lays there looking....well....dead? By this point in the process, all of their insides have been yanked out, their blood drained and replaced by embalming fluid, pasty makeup is applied often heavily and in some cases, the deceased isn't even dressed from below the belt since only half the body shows anyway.

To make matters even more odd, we hold a "viewing" where anybody who wants to can stand in line, and then have a few moments to stare at the dead person. Awkward.
This always, always, produces a "He looks good" from a family member or someone standing in line next to me. Are you kidding? I'm going on record here: NOBODY LOOKS GOOD DEAD. It's true. Look it up.

Me? I wanted to be cremated and have my ashes spread over Augusta National Golf Course.


I tip like everyone else and since I was a waiter and tended bar in college I will usually go overboard if the service is even moderately decent. Even when it sucks, I go the standard 15%. I'll go to 50% of more if there is a compelling reason to do it....sob story, poor starving student/artist/writer, etc...

The part about tipping that gets annoying isn't so much at restaurants, it's at hotels. The cab pulls up and you tip that guy...easy. There is a guy who does nothing more than open the car door, welcome you to the property, and lift your bags onto a cart that is being held by a bellman. The doorman needs some love so you pop him some cash. Next stop is the front desk. The manager or butler then escort you to your room (okay so maybe not everyone gets this part) - this guy needs a whole lotta love.....finally, the bellman arrives and he needs at least a 20 spot. But wait....we're not done yet. The pillows need to be changed and we need more towels and ice....a housekeeping attendant shows up and they need some cheese too. I haven't even popped open a can of $5 dollar diet coke and I'm out $50 bucks just getting my luggage in the house.

And then there is the whole "who do you tip and not tip" at Christmastime. As the "Hardest Working Man in the Insurance Business," I don't get any tips. I give tips. Granted I usually get some insane good-looking gift baskets but they are all filled with 5 year old cans of cookies, crackers, cheese, and wine which I don't drink. I want to but I can't.

Tip at Christmas if you get good service througout the year - otherwise forget it. Where does it end?

Drunk Driving Musings

Just about every week a celebrity or athlete is arrested for drunken behavior - last week Cedric Benson of da Bears was pulled over ON HIS BOAT for drunk boating. He had to be pepper sprayed and restrained with handcuffs. Today's news was that Lofa Tatupu who plays for the Seahawks was pulled over in a drive through, handcuffed, and lugged back to the clink.

In each case, these guys and everyone else, except Mel Gibson, who gets pulled over says they had one or two beers, or none at their blood level exceeds legal limits by 2 or even 3 times when tested back at the station. Mel as we all know seems to have a problem with blacks and jews and practices old school catholic mass...that is performed in Latin. But he was GREAT in the Lethal Weapon series.

If you drink. Don't drive.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day Recap

I'm alittle behind....

Mothers Day, as always, is a great, great day. It is a day to honor mothers everywhere. I am blessed to have a wonderful mom, and a wife who is a great friend and mother to our sons. We had brunch at the house since Alec and Tiffany were down from Salt Lake and had to hit the road by noon.

Yesterday we were also fortunate to talk to our dear, dear Jake who is serving a mission for our church in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Jake is currently in Machala, Ecuador just south of Guayaquil and is a stone's throw away from where Alec served in Peru. In fact, their missions are adjacent to one another so I'm sure they will have a lot to talk about when they are reunited.

Janae laughs at this, but my idea of the world is somewhat warped in that I am AMAZED to find signs of civilization anywhere except the United States.....oh....and of course England. In my mind, the rest of the world is woefully behind the United States in every way. This is evidence of the fact I was brainwashed by the Santa Clara School District as a child.

As I'm talking to Jake, I say to him, "Do you live in a village?"

No response....just a chuckle.

"Do you live in a hut?"

More laughter.

"No, we don't live in a hut."

"Do you have power? A shower? Bathroom?"

To my joy and surprise he replied,

"Yes Dad, we have power. We have a shower and 2 toilets."


Granted, the shower spits out cold water, and every now and then, there is no water but these are minor annoyances. He does have access to an "Americanized" store that has gatorade and beef jerky which everyone knows is what astronauts eat on their missions. At least he won't starve.

The pictures he sent last week were great too except for the one of the chicken foot in his soup. His "Momita" is the woman who takes care of the missionaries and does their laundry and cooks their meals.....even the ones they Elders don't like. Jake just said, "I eat what they put in front of me." We'll leave the guesses about the "mystery meat" for later.

I also picked up my magical sleep apnea machine today and promptly came home, strapped on the mask and fell asleep. I have trips planned the next three weeks so the machine came just in time. Let's hope it works.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sleep Test #2

Sleep test #2 is back and it's official.....I am the worst apnea case that they have seen at the Box Canyon facility in 1000 plus cases.

I didn't laugh this time.

Test #2 was done 8 days ago and involved hooking me up to an oxygen machine while I slept, in addition to all the other doohickeys. This produced WORSE results than without using oxygen thus causing my overall ranking to soar the top of the list.

Zero minutes REM sleep, 180 arousals versus only 118 on the first test, and strangely, twice the number of minutes below 90% oxygen saturation - WITH THE OXYGEN. This thoroughly confused Doc Molin. Me? I just shrugged my shoulders - he wasn't the type to joke about anything. In my estimation judging from the accent, the clothes, and the hair, I suspect he is European - with absolutely no sense of humor. Admittedly, at the time I was too tired to work up a good routine but I was also trying hard to listen to his doc-speak and integrate with the info I was able to glean from my many hours of internet research.

Next up is a visit with a cardiologist to see if my heart is functioning as it should. I'm not too worried about this since I reckon if it was really bad, they would have sent me down the hall but then again, they probably had to run it by insurance first and everyone knows how thoroughly goofed up that is. The irony here is that someone making $8 bucks an hour has to approve a procedure that could cost thousands. Maybe it's just me, but I don't have too much confidence in the people answering phones at ANY call center.

This week I start my oxygen treatement at night. Special order unit for Keith! This contraption will differ from the machine I was tested on last week and will maintain pressure as I breathe in and out AND provide heated, humidified air so baby won't dry out his sinuses. Apparently it will also require "professional" setup because the oyxgen levels have to be calibrated just so. If this were left up to me (and I read no instructions. Ever.) I would simply turn the dials to maximum, strap the mask on,and then holler 10 seconds later,

"Janae! It's not working right!"

This is why I am not allowed to play with the machine.

I'm optimistic that I'll be my old self within a week or places to go and things to do.

Just heard from Elder Runyon in hot, humid, muddy Ecuador.... He is doing GREAT. I'm keep track of everyone who writes him while on his mission and who doesn't write him. You don't want to be on the latter list.

Trust me.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Fathers Prayer

The following piece was written by General Douglas McArthur. It is titled, "A Fathers Prayer." My sons know how much I love this work. It echoes the dream Janae and I had for our boys when we first held them as babies and looked into their trusting eyes.

Read this short work, and then look in the mirror and honestly evaluate how you have done; either you yourself as a grown man, or perhaps as a parent raising a child. Look at your strengths and weaknesses without having the filter of excuses on your lens. There are far too many people in the world today that hide their faults, misdeeds, and poor decisions behind excuses. People dishonor themselves with excuses. They mock loyalty with betrayal. They are bitter in victory and bitter in defeat.

A Father's Prayer

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain".

Where is this kind of integrity today? Excuses are for wimps.

Be strong.