Tuesday, July 31, 2012

People Always Amaze Me!

The last two days have been extraordinary in so many ways. I think they will be the basis for Volume II of my book I Still Believe in Tomorrow. This post will eventually be turned into a chapter. Let me give you a summary of yesterday but I really want to focus on this afternoon.

I had an acupuncture treatment at 1:45pm, arrived early with a backpack full of books. I started talking to the two women at the front desk who have to put up with my constant teasing. I asked Cindy to open my backpack and grab a book. Then, Mary wanted to see one. I told them to open the Acknowledgement page and read it. They recognized several names and we talked about them. I had them go to the passage on my acupuncturist, Bob Decker, and my experience with Eastern and Alternative Medicine.

Then, Bobbee came out and he wanted one. Bob came to get me for my treatment. He looked at the passages, and guess what? Yup, he wanted one! The manager was not there, but I am hoping she will sell them in the Institute's bookstore. I was going to give them the books to plant some seeds, but they all insisted on purchasing the books. After my treatment, I was a puddle again.

Off to Doogie's office to give him a book, because he wants to buy a large quantity to give to his patients. Before that, I showed it to his receptionists, Tammy and Kathy. They enjoyed the Acknowledgements and the passage when I called Doctor Jason Reed, "Doogie" in front of some mortified staff.

Next, it was off to the lab for a blood draw. Guess what? The lab tech bought one. By the time my day was done, I had sold seventeen books! I thought that was a good first day for selling by myself. Plus, who knows how many patients Doogie has?

That was yesterday. I have not even gotten to today! Like Mister Scrooge, I counted my mound of money and my attendant, Kelly, helped me fill out my Deposit Slip, and it was off to the bank to deposit my fortune. I asked my banker, Dave, if he would help sell the book by putting a copy on the teller's counter and offering it to customers. Well, he bought a book.

Now, I am off to Magers & Quinn Booksellers to talk to their Acquisitions person. Aaron was not in, but I started talking to Steve. He mentioned he graduated from Berkeley. You can imagine where that conversation went! Before I know it, he wants to know if I would do a reading at the store some evening!

Are you kidding me? Of course, I replied, "Let me think about it, and I will get back to you." I did not say that. I said, "Sure, that would be GREAT!" I left the store feeling pretty good.

I went a few feet, hit a bump in the sidewalk, and just like that, my chair died, nothing! I am stuck, I cannot move. I could recline, but that was it. I must have had that look on my face that said, "I need help!"

That was when Jill stopped and I asked her if she would help me. I had her check the cable to the joystick and it was plugged in. I asked her if she had a smartphone and she told me she had just bought one two weeks ago when she and her fiancee moved here from Boston. She found my wheelchair repair shop, we called the shop and Kris came out to fix my chair.

She stayed with me for over an hour, bought me a bottle of water, and left only when Kris showed up. We had a wonderful conversation, I made a new friend, and guess what? They each bought a book!

I could go on, but I think this is the longest I have ever posted! Thank you for reading to this point.

I will tell you more in Volume II.

I look forward to your comments.



Friday, July 27, 2012

The Book is here! The Book is here!

Okay, I know I told you I would only post about once a week, but I am busting at the seams to share my good news. 

I received my first paperback copies of I Still Believe in Tomorrow today and they are ready to ship! If you want your own book you can hold in your hand, you can order it from all the major booksellers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., but please order them from me because I get a bigger royalty.

For example: I only get about $3.00 if you order from Amazon! Let's just say, I get a little more if you order from me. Eventually, I'm going to set-up a unique website for the book complete with a page for comments, it's own blog and the ability to pay with PayPal and credit cards. Until that happens, please send your checks to:

Patrick Communications, Inc.
619 Lafayette Road North, #304
St. Paul, MN 55130-4444

The price is $14.95 per book plus $5.00 for shipping for up to ten books. I'll give you a quote on shipping if you want more. I'll send your books once your check clears.

I'm going to be moving in mid-August, and my new address will be:

Patrick Communications, Inc.
10100 Lyndale Avenue South, #104
Bloomington, MN 55420

Please contact me with any questions and/or concerns. By all means, please share this post and help me spread the word! FYI: I quote several of you and your comments to my previous blog posts.

A very heartfelt thank you in advance to everyone who buys "I Still Believe in Tomorrow."

Remember, it makes a great gift!



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Penn State Is Toast

Most of us have heard of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State and the coverup that took place by the coaches and administrators who knew about it and did nothing. If you have not heard of it, let me give you a brief summary. 

As far back as 1998, an assistant football coach was sexually abusing young boys when he was entrusted to take care of them while they attended a football camp on the Penn State campus. One of the other coaches walked in on him abusing a boy in the shower and went to tell the head coach without stopping the coach right there.

Supposedly, that was the first incident. There is a long and sordid story I will not go into, but suffice to say, there was an extended period of abuse that lasted for many years and was not reported to the police. 

Most reports on the networks and the Internet talk about the victims as being the Penn State students, the people in the community, the future Penn State football players, the athletes and fans. The broadcasters and writers talk and write about all the victims except the actual boys who were raped. They seem to be forgotten. I find it amazing!

Again, if you are not following the story, one of the sanctions is a sixty million dollar fine levied by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), the governing body of college athletics. That dollar amount equals the amount of money the football team brings to the University in one year!

The main outrage comes from the fact the one hundred twelve victories Penn State has won since 1998! That is what everyone in Collegeville is upset about. Unbelievable!

If you want to learn more about this story, just Google "Penn State sanctions" like I did. You can read and watch more videos to learn more than you probably want to know. The bottom line is: it is a sad chapter in American sports lore, and leaves an ugly mark for trusting adult coaches and mentors that it throws onto all the good men who parents used to trust.

I believe this story is far from over and Penn State deserves everything it gets!

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Like Simon's Attitude

I received my inspiration for this post from a young friend who has a disability. He wrote me a note and shared a story about twenty-year-old Simon Wakelin, of Rhydargaeau, a small village near Carmarthen, West Wales. I am sure you all know where that is located!

At age eight, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle-wasting disease that has forced him to use a wheelchair ever since. He loved driving the tractors at his grandpa's farm before his diagnosis and liked taking care of his family's lawn. With the help of a friend, he has designed a lawn mowing wheelchair and has become the youngest lawn mowing businessman in his village.

I love hearing and learning about people's life stories. I tell mine for a living and have people telling and writing me about themselves all the time. It is wonderful! Young Simon's is yet another such story. For a young man with such an extremely involved disability to take on a physically-challenging career and make it work, is extraordinary.

Here is a photo from the article:

Click on the image to make it larger:

You may read the entire article by clicking here.

My favorite quote of Simon's is: Having a disability does not have to stop you from doing the things you want to. I love that coming from such a young man! Now, that motivates me!

Read it and see what you think of this young entrepreneur the next time you go out to mow your lawn. There are also several dozen Comments you may enjoy.

I look forward to your comments.



Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Break

Much of the country is suffering through record-setting heat, we are getting flooding in places that rarely flood, other parts are literally burning to the ground! It is proving to be a very unique summer.

Many students are home from school for the summer, adults are working in unbearable conditions outside and those working indoors are frustrated because the power grid cannot handle all the air conditioning needs, so they have to work in hot environments.

Come with me, take a break and do a little lesson to take your mind off your summer woes for a few minutes. You students can put your computer game down briefly or stay out of the pool for a bit and exercise your brain.

I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and know once you learn something, you cannot unlearn it. Once you see the problem, you cannot look at it and not see it! It will never look the same again.

Studies show students take a good deal of what they learn in school and lose it over their summer break. Knowing that, my challenge to you is to read this exercise: take the rest of your summer break and learn at least one new thing each day. That is one of my goals. I want to learn at least one new thing each and every day. I talk about it my new ebook I Still Believe in Tomorrow.

I issue this challenge to my adult readers: study this exercise, see if you get it; then share it with your co-workers, spouses, roommates and/or children. Then, share it again with someone else.

Here is the problem:

Click on the image to make it larger:

Good luck! I have to admit, I did not get it.

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Star Spangled Banner

Today we celebrate our Nation's two hundred thirty-sixth Birthday! Happy Birthday, America! Or, is today really our birthday? In doing some research for this post I found some interesting information on our origin, the flag, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the date John Adams wanted us to celebrate our anniversary (July second), the Band of Five and the reason for this post. The Smithsonian's website has a fascinating read to learn about our flag. You can read it by clicking here.

I find it interesting he was a slave owner and huge proponent of slavery. According to several historical sites, he spent his whole life fighting for the right to own slaves.

I do not know how hot and humid it is where you are, but we set a record of one hundred one degrees here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. With stifling dew points, and hot temperatures, events have been canceled and/or scaled back.

Tonight, there will be fireworks displays all over the country and we will once again, come together as one nation, at least for one night. Personally, I cannot tolerate the high heat and dew point over sixty degrees, so I have just stayed in the air conditioning, watched a little television, did some research and plan to watch the Twins try to beat Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers tonight.

Which brings me to the point of this post. When Francis Scott Key watched the British bomb and burn the city of Washington on the night and early morning of September 13-14, 1814, he penned the poem's four stanzas. It was not until March 3, 1931 it became our national anthem by a congressional resolution and was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Here is Key's poem he originally wrote on the back of a letter he had in his coat pocket:

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep,

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
Tis the Star-Spangled Banner. Oh! Long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,

Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land

Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto—“In God is our trust.”

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

As you know, it is the first stanza we all know as our National Anthem. My question to you is this: Did we pick the correct stanza to celebrate? What do you think?

I look forward to your comments.