Day 335 – Taking Stock

Years ago,  I taught a goal setting class for the US Jaycees at one of their many conventions.  I had gone to Reno with my friend, Brent and we stayed at what is now the Grand Sierra.  I don’t remember what Brent was teaching, but I remember my experience.  I’ve had a lot of great experiences at the Grand Sierra, in all of its previous forms, the most recent being two years ago when we were there for the Stampede.  There are so many people to thank for the massive hangover I endured.  Let me start with Barbara, it was with her that I got up at 4 in the morning to go be part of a Balloon Chase Team, that will be a story to tell someday; follow that with Lil’ Rich and Josh and Dave and everyone else that was involved in putting on and racing the Ultra4 race  we went to right from the Balloon race, and Bob and Paula who interrupted our nap so we could be at the bar first.  Paula posted on FB the other day “Here’s to Alcohol, because no great story ever started with a Salad.”  I think that describes that weekend to a T.  There are others who contributed to the worst hangover ever, but I’m sure that was only because they were mixing my shots.  That was one of those epic weekends that everyone still talks about, apparently mine wasn’t the only Worst of the bunch.

But I digress, I wanted to talk about goal setting.  When I taught the class, I taught that it was important for them to be written, attainable and measureable – WAM.  There are a lot of acronyms that people use to describe goal setting, but WAM is my favorite.  In this case, I’ve written down my goals – see What’s It All About – and I’ve even published them so I get to be accountable too (this is important to me).  It’s like being on a diet but not telling anyone, so when you order dessert your friends won’t call you out on it.  My goals are also attainable, at least I think so – if I can’t do it, I’m not yet ready to admit defeat.  The most important part of goal setting, in my book, at least, is that goals are measurable, that may be the bean counter in me.  I set all my goals up to be measured, so let’s take stock.

One-twelfth of my birthday year is done =   8.33% = if 50 items on the list, then 4.17 need to be complete.


  1. Call 50 friends – 2 done; short by 2.17
  2. Make and send 50 cards – 2 done, short by 2.17
  3. Fold 50*20 origami cranes – 0 done, short by 4.17 *50
  4. Watch 50 classic movies – 1 done, short by 3.17
  5. Read 50 books – 5 done, goal met
  6. Take 50*7 pictures – 50*3.5 done, goal met
  7. Write 50*7 blogs – 27 done, goal met
  8. Visit 50 new places – 4 done, goal met
  9. Do 50 new things – 3 done, short by 1.17
  10. Write 50 chapters – 4+ done, goal met


It’s very satisfying to see what has been done and know that of my ten goals, I’m really on track with half of them.  I just need to get working on the others to keep them all up to par.  So looking forward to everything I get to do these next 30 days.


Day 359 – In Pursuit of Passion

I am a firm believer in being passionate, passionate about life, love, work, hobbies.  I believe passion drives us to be better people, to learn, to know, to accept.  Whether your passion is racing or woodworking, square dancing or comic books, I don’t think it matters, as long as there is something in your life you can speak passionately about.

I’ve wanted to have a TV show for a number of years now that would be called In Pursuit of Passion – a show that went to all the various conventions and events around the world and talked to people about their passion, on their turf, in their territory.  While it may not all interest me, just being around people who love something so much that they spend their time and money on it is enough for me.  I think I’d make a kickass show.  Of course, I’d probably have to change the name or someone would think it was about sex, bah, how times have changed.

Today I started meeting two of my goals, you’ll find those on the “What’s it all About” page.  The first goal I worked on is to call 50 people.  This is to help me reconnect with old friends, people I’ve lost touch with but who were important to me sometime in my life.  Today’s call was with Linda.  I met Linda in 1988 when she recruited me to be a charter member of the Blackfoot Jaycees.  I had no idea that this woman would change my life in so many ways.  It wasn’t just her, but all that she introduced me to.  Linda is a bright star in the lives of everyone she meets, she has an innocent quality that lets her say things that most people would filter.  She has brought a ton of laughter to my world over the years, probably more than anyone else.  She moved away back in the mid-90’s and the last time I saw her was 2005, so today was a call straight out of the blue.  I hope she enjoyed it as much as I did.  Linda’s outlook on life is precious, she loves and cares deeply for those around her and has always had the best friendships in the world. Whenever I’m getting to know someone and giving a history of my life, I always include Linda, there are some truly funny stories surrounding this woman.

We took a trip together back in 1991 to “Mindianapolis”, nine of us in the “Jesus” Van, we called it that, because one look at it, and you said, “oh, Jesus, are you driving that?” The trip was eventful from day one, but my favorite story from that weekend was the second night we were in Minnesota at the convention, our delegation from Idaho was sitting together at dinner when David from South Dakota sits down next to Linda.  He was pleased to see her and started chatting, she began to introduce him to the crowd around, from Ron and Tori, to Randy and Kathy, to her friend, Larry.  We had to stop her there, all of us together were like “wait a minute, Linda, don’t you mean your husband, Larry?” Everyone laughed, including Larry, I felt so sorry for young David, he looked crushed when he found out she was married.  Thanks Linda for being part of my life and for changing it as much as you have.

The Dremel

The second goal I worked on was to try new things.  I have owned a Dremel tool for eons, but I never knew how to use it.  I didn’t understand the whole attachment thing, you see I’m considered “packaging” challenged, from Saltines to doors, anything that opens or closes seems to stymie me.  Today, Rich taught me how to use my Dremel.  We talked about all the various attachments, and how they can be used and then he set me to work on a project I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. I have a fascination with buttons, so I want to make some.  A couple of weeks ago in Austin, I bought an antler from an antique store, and today, I set out to make buttons.  I used my killer Dremel tool to saw the pieces off the antler, I haven’t gotten to the right width for button making yet, but I made some beads.  Can’t wait to string them and make some jewelry.  I love trying new things, I will like it better when I master it, but I have to start somewhere.  Who knows, maybe button making will become my next passion?