The Good News…

…is that I got home from a business trip at 12:50 am.

That begs the question, “Does that count as good news?” I have been up since 6:30 am. Kind of a long day. I am home approximately 9 hours after my meeting ended.

It could have been worse. I could have been stuck tonight in Kingsport, TN.. getting on the 5:30 am flight tomorrow…oh wait, I mean later this morning. Or I could have been forced to sleep at the Comfort Suites near the Charlotte, NC airport ( a pit of a hotel).  So yes, getting home near 1 am IS the good news.

I am such a glass half full kind of guy!

Naps Boost Brain Power

See Honey. I am doing something important all of those times I am snoring away on the couch instead of doing whatever it is that you were hoping I would do.

Read the story here.

See the story….after you take your nap.

Something I Can Identify With…At least A Little

“I hate my job. Can I retire early?”

I read the site CNNMoney.com almost every workday. I find interesting business stories, current business news, stock market news and oh yeah a link to Sports Illustrated .com. The other day I found the above quote as the title to a story on the site.

I didn’t even bother to read the story. Nothing could improve on the title.

I know several people who like what they do to earn a living. It challenges them, is interesting, provides income at levels they are happy with and they work with great people. I also know far more people who identify with the headline quote.

So where do I stand? (All work colleagues who have accidentally come across this site and the few customers that read it, STOP READING NOW!)

I have been doing the same type of work for almost 30 years. (Insert standard joke here, “I was 7 when I started” , wait for the roaring laughter to dissipate). Along the way I have learned, grown, been fascinated by different aspects of the work and always interested by the characters I meet. Clearly much good along the way.

And yet… long hours, much pressure and far, far too often not enough good people to work with. The one thing I have taken away from my 30 years or this work, now that I am 37,   is that the people you spend every day with make work life either great or something far less.

It just so happened that on the day I saw the headline, I felt that way too. Not every day but definitely that day.

Pax Man: Death Of A Blog

One of the first blogs I began reading recently bit the dust.  Pax Romano’s Ramblings has provided insight, humor, pathos and great pics for years and has held a noticeable place in my life.

While Pax’s wisdom and humor  can be found on Facebook, we mourn the death of  a great blog.

Nothing Is Over Until We Decide It Is

This is what Mother Nature and her naturettes said on Saturday March 20, 2010.

The. headlines and the people of Chi-town were celebrating the official arrival of Spring — a bit too early. Mother Nature wanted to remind us of two things. First, that the vernal equinox, the start of Spring, does not officially occur when until 12:32 pm CDT. And, more importantly that Winter ends when she says it ends.

Friday, sunny with a high of 68 degrees. Saturday morning, foggy, 31 degrees and an inch, or two, of snow has fallen.

Apparently Mother Nature saw Animal House.

Enjoy either a short or long version. I recommend the long.

Work, Work, Work. Sneaking In Some Fun

About 1 minute into the great “Harumph” scene from Blazing Saddles Mel Brook’s character says “Work, work, work” (he then goes on to stare at the magnificent chest of the woman next to him and says, “Hello boys. Have get a good night’s rest? I missed you.” That latter part has nothing to do with this post but are wonderfully funny in a sophomoric male kind of way.)

Work, work, work. That has been my life. Lots of planes, meetings, calls reports, etc.  Harumph.

Fortunately I have found a few moments outside of the madness to enjoy.

The Saturday before I started my marathon travel week I had an evening of racquetball with my wife and then attended a Mardi Gras party at the home of my friend Ed. The racquetball was intense and generally well-played. We are evenly matched. The party was fun and Ed makes some of the best Gumbo north of NOLA.

The following Saturday began with work from 9am to 6 pm. Fortunately I had made plans with Harold. He picked a play at a small theatre put on by the Annoyance Theatre company. The play was billed as a sex comedy musical. It was. The scenes were raunchy and  mostly funny. While it seemed as if it was date night for many in the audience, I am not sure I would have wanted to sit through this with my wife.

On Sunday I flew to NY, NY in time to spend most of the afternoon there. I walked the 30 streets and three avenues from my hotel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had not been there in at least two decades. It was good though the fatigue of the week caught up to me. I had a little time to rest. In fact I crashed for an hour. Then it was on to dinner with a long time friend who I had not seen in at least 7 years. It was great catching up but it was way too short.

This weekend I spent the afternoon with my nephew Dan. Dan is 27 and a very likeable guy. He is also a personal trainer among several other things and had offered often to work with me. When he was young I would have him stay at my apartment and had on a couple of occasions taken him to the health club. I was the cool uncle. Now it was his time to take me.

We only worked through about a half-dozen exercises. Dan’s goal is to get people to understand how important form is to working out. I learned to keep my back straight, how to curl, twist and push and how to remember to breath. He is really good at this personal trainer stuff.

We were looking for a place for a late lunch when I remembered we were near Manny’s. Manny’s is an old time deli on the near south side of Chicago. It has basic but great food and the decor could not have cost more than $10 but it was beautiful. The pastrami sandwich was $13.95 but overstuffed to overflowing and ended up being good for three meals. I had never been to Manny’s. About time.

Today I made my way back to the gym for the first time since racquetball with my wife two weeks earlier. It had been three weeks since any kind of aerobics workout. I had intended to use an elliptical machine as always. But today I decided to be different. My gym has a huge pool which had many empty lanes. I hate swimming when it is full and you share a lane with someone. I am a terrible swimmer and it has been years since I swam laps. But swim I did.

Ten laps. Took about 30 minutes. I then used a machine I had never used before. Your feet swing back and forth. It did not look like much of a workout but it was.

I was supposed to see a play this afternoon to complete the fun but if you read my last post you know that it never happened.

One more piece of fun. I snuck in two posts tonight. Since they have been coming at a pace of less than one every two weeks. This is good. I miss writing and will try to get back to it with much greater regularity.

Work, work, work…hello boys.

Even Limo Drivers Have Facets

Often I forget why I started a blog titled 48 Facets. Then I run into interesting, multi-faceted people in the least expected places.

Let me share a prejudice.  When I encounter a limo driver speaking heavily Spanish accented English I make assumptions. Mexican. Uneducated. Driving because this is the best he can do to work toward the American dream.

I was with the same driver three times in two days. First trip nary a word was spoken. This morning we had some modest polite conversation. He mentioned that he had lived in NYC and been in Orlando for a while. The last trip was to the airport that would lead to my journey home.

I spoke of the snowstorm in Chicago and how it might be nice to stay in the moderate temps of central Florida for another day or two. He wisely suggested that this was the time to be with family.  He was right and for some reason that got me talking.

I learned that he was from Chile. Moved to Log Island in his mid-20s, was a civil engineer by training, worked for many years in his father-in-law’s construction business, left because his relationship with his father-in-law was deteriorating (though he liked the man on a personal level), moved to Orlando 14 years ago with six other families, does not think he would have made it there without the group sharing and support of the other families, and has a son grown son and daughter.  (Quite a sentence, huh.)

Both his son and daughter graduated from a strong, local college even though they could have attended nationally known schools (one  had been accepted by Columbia and the other by NYU). They both have advanced degrees — and jobs. The daughter is working locally and the son is in LA but will be home just after Christmas.

I considered asking him why a civil engineer was driving a limo . I did not. Whatever the answer is was not important. We were just two guys talking about our lives and our families. I thought the question would be  demeaning and neither in the spirit of our moment together or the holiday season.

The point is that once more I was surprised by how the reality of a person far surpassed any suppositions I make about them by the surface impressions. Another reminder that when I push pass my shy nature  I am almost always greatly rewarded.