Scouting the Playground

  I remember being in the fourth grade and standing on the asphalt early in the morning and scouting the playground. If I couldn’t find a friend I would play on the monkey bars or the rings. Most of the time I found a friend and we would walk around the playground and talk. I vaguely remember what we talked about. What do 10-year-olds talk about on the playground? Do you remember your conversations with friends at 10 years old? I rewinded the clock about 40 years this morning. I went to the beach to surf and scouted the “playground.” and ended up talking with friends who were scouting too. I never made it into the water. Back to my question. Do you remember your conversations with friends at 10 years old?

The Life Equation

A couple of years ago, I injured my shoulder surfing and was not able to surf for several weeks. I continued going to the beach and took photos instead while my body healed. I remembered watching the local high school surf team this day as they shouted, laughed, and scored really great waves during a winter swell. What stood out the most was watching some students stylin’ on cheap foam boards that are sold at the local Costco.

I heard a preacher on the radio say that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I have heard this saying recycled and re-quoted many times in different forms like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” but is it not true? Anything “awesome” or “epic” usually depends on how you participated in it. The kids who surfed with the foam boards were carving out waves as good as the other kids who had boards that cost 10 times more.

Times have changed and now people reject sound wisdom and will react with, “What if I don’t like lemonade?” and “Why am I getting lemonade when those people get Arnold Palmer’s?”  The victim card is way overplayed nowadays. It is time to put that card down and take that 10% of crap that has been thrown your way and turn it into fertilizer for the 90%. Grow something. Change something. Overcoming obstacles in life is not easy nor comfortable. Stop wasting energy on leveling the playing field and just play. If all you have is that cheap foam board, then use it and make it awesome. The 90% is yours.

A Poem About IKEA & Laughter


Playing house
At the local IKEA
Relieves the stress
At least that’s my idea

Life is too short
To always play it cool
There are just some moments
You have to be a fool

Smiles trump frowns
And chuckles beat sighs
Meet your quota for laughs
Before you die.

That’s my motto
Because times get too heavy
Laughter takes advantage
Of life in its brevity

Thanks to my co-workers Chris and Sarah for putting up with my humor during a busy day. Thanks to you, followers and visitors, for putting up with my humor.

Advice for Hearts

A word to the young,

Yours can be fooled

Usually when you’re foolish

Wreckless and never ruled.

A word to those who are gray,

Before you lay to rest

Stop pining for yesterdays

And make today your best.

A word for the lonely,

Don’t be offended by my tone

Sharing your journey is a choice

So is staying alone.

A word to the lost,

Open your eyes

And commit to find your way

Instead of living on lies.

A word to those who are filled,

Help us sift the truth from the tales

Warn us about chasing after empty dreams

And remind us that love never fails.

The Flower Fades

The flower fades

as we can see

yesterday in full glory

now traveling to a distant memory.

Vibrant and springing life

once boasting and bold

color has bled away

standing, yet wilting and cold

Life is to be cherished

its span is too small

capture every moment

until eternity calls

Love as much as you can love

live bigger than your mind

give more than you keep

before there is no more time

Because we will all fade

and in the end we will see

that we all had the gift

to pen a beautiful story.

A Wedding 50 Floors Above L.A. 

The Big Fake Wedding was a bridal show literally above the Los Angeles skyline. It was organized by wedding vendors for future brides and grooms to experience a “fake” wedding ceremony and reception. Planners, wedding singers, and photographers were among the larger group of vendors in action at the event. It may have been a fake wedding, but the work that went into was real. I experienced that reality firsthand because I assisted my wife, who was the floral designer of this unique event.

Before you see the visual essay, here’s a couple of thoughts about marriage. Most people spend way more time preparing and educating themselves to have a career or pursue a hobby than they would preparing for a marriage relationship that is supposed to last a lifetime. Take the time to prepare beyond the wedding for a life-long marriage. If you are already in a marriage relationship and want it to be better, then take the initiative to invest into your relationship. Isn’t your relationship worth it?

Check out “A Wedding 50 Floors Above L.A.” here https://steller.co/s/5HeAuT8DxSe

 

Stoked Defined 

 Stoked [stohkt] adjective. Slang.

The web dictionary defines stoked as “exhilarated” and “excited.” I usually use other words instead of “stoked.” I use words like “excited” and “thrilled.” That changes today.

I got into solid head high surf with a group of friends at the crack of dawn. It was very crowded by 6:30am, but I carved out a little space for myself and caught a few lefts that will keep me smiling throughout the day. It was great camaraderie and great surf. I am “stoked” and will be using that word a lot more.

The Paths We Take


“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own,
and you know what you know.
And you are the only one who’ll decide where you’ll go.”~Dr. Seuss

How could you not love Dr. Seuss? I found this picture as I cleaned out my photo library on my phone. When I saw it, I went into “deep thoughts” mode.  Here are a few of my thoughts on the paths we choose in life:

  • Regardless of your theology, you are never alone. Why even try to do life by yourself? It is way more interesting to walk this journey with others.
  • Have a destination, even though many of you know it really is about the journey and not the destination.
  • With a destination in mind, walk with purpose in every step. They count whether they were wasted or not and you can’t take them back.
  • There is no shame in changing course at any of point of the journey if you realize you are going the wrong way.
  • Don’t avoid paths just because they are too challenging or risk pain. No pain. No gain.
  • Enjoy it.

I am sure that is just a fraction of the list, but my attention span is limited at the moment. What would you add to the list?

When that homeless man is your friend


I remember the time being panned for money by a homeless man while I waited in line at a Taco Bell. We were both 20-something by then, and the moment he asked me for some change we locked eyes. I could tell by his eyes that he recognized me.

We were once neighbors and childhood friends. I can still replay the day he let me ride his motorized scooter down the alley behind his house. This day, this man acted like he didn’t remember me, and I was too embarrassed to press the issue. I gave him what I had in my pocket; a dollar and some change. He mumbled a thank you and walked away.

Even though our meeting happened over 20 years ago, whenever I am downtown I look for him. Taking this shot of this scene by the Salvation Army reminded me of him.

Low Tide

“One of the best moments that can ever happen between a father and his son is that time when the father is just a “grown-up” kid with his kid doing something like walking around the rocks during low tide.”

Navigating through the tide pools, throwing rocks, looking for stuff, etc. and the quiet moments of simply being and being together help bond the souls of the man and his child.

Read more on Steller https://steller.co/s/4pyK9aeEW6c