Saturday, May 29, 2010

It doesn't get any better than this

It's early morning. After a good night's sleep, I'm sitting out on a deck at the resort, sipping coffee and reading an art magazine. The birds are chirping, the sun is peeking through thin clouds. A gentle breeze cools the air as I savor the warm, sunny morning, and gaze out at the golf course and Lake Vermilion. A long day of fishing is planned, and 18 holes of golf are an option. I have to say, there is a tendency to make the well known claim: It doesn't get any better than this.

I'm reminded that I have been extremely fortunate over the years. I have had many experiences that offer me that same feeling. My annual fishing trip with good friends is only one of those times. Any time I can relax and spend time with my wife always ranks at the top. Or any time spent with our "kids," family vacations, ball games, reading the Sunday newspaper with coffee in hand, putting paintbrush to canvas, good movies, and thunderstorms or gentle spring rains. The list goes on and on.

I guess it really just comes back to having a positive attitude about life. We can choose to have those great experiences at almost any time. Just put together a recipe of loved ones, doing something enjoyable, a clear head and anticipation of the future, and you can honestly say,
It just doesn't get any better than this.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Sea of Acronyms

As the GM, I was leading a CSR meeting at work a couple of weeks ago, and mentioned to the group that I was going to be gone the following morning because I was going to see ICP. One of the CSR's started to chuckle when I said this, and I asked her what was so funny. She first asked me what ICP was, and I told her it stood for Industrial Custom Products, one of our suppliers. She then told me she couldn't help laughing when ICP was mentioned, because her only previous exposure to that acronym was a raw, hardcore hip hop band called ICP - Insane Clown Posse!

Acronyms can sometimes get out of hand in business, especially when one needs to communicate a large amount of information in a short amount of time or space. Because of our QA program, I may need to contact 3M to request a RoHS COC for the SCal we are using on an OEM graphic. The CEO will need to find out if we have WEE certified pallets for a POP UPS shipment to LA and NYC. We control our VOC's because we switched to UV ink systems to avoid use of products containing MEK and other hazardous substances that increased the size of our MSDS record keeping. CAD, FTE, IMR, NDA, OEM, P&L, PO, RFP, TM...

We are bombarded every single day while listening to radio, watching television news or reading the newspaper, with the latest issues regarding ADP, BP, AIG, GM, OMB and MP3, not to forget the GOP and DFL. Most of us don't even think twice about these familiar abbreviations and acronyms, since they may also assist in our understanding or streamline our conversations.

That is, until someone thinks you are going to visit the Insane Clown Posse.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Amelia Jane

At 8:01 in the morning on Monday, May 3rd, we were thrilled to welcome our first grandchild, little Amelia Jane, into the world. I was there to hear her first cries.

Laura and Chris' new daughter weighed in at 7 lbs, 10 oz, was 21-1/8" long, and has more dark hair on her head than her grandpa has had since the 1980's. She's cuter than a bug's ear!

I start reminiscing about the day Laura was born, and now find myself longing for those early days of parenthood. Then I remember the dirty diapers, green pea baby food and the 2:00 am feedings. On second thought, I think I'll be satisfied as a new grandpa. Friends tell me it's the best thing in the world, and I am already inclined to agree.

I also begin to wonder what she will look like as she moves from the infant stage to early childhood. Will she develop red hair like her mom and grandma? Will she have a perpetual smile like they do? Or a sense of humor and dimples like her dad? Will she be blessed with musical talent? And will she start copying from the Sunday funny paper like I used to do? Perhaps all of the above.

It will be exciting to follow her as she develops into a little lady. In no time at all, I will need to offer to my son-in-law a copy of the "Application to Date My Daughter."

Time will not stand still, so for now, we'll enjoy every second we have with her.