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Sunday, November 27, 2011

MORNING CUP OF COFFEE FOR NOVEMBER 27TH 2011

Good morning everyone and welcome to week number thirty of Morning Cup of Coffee.   Also, welcome to the holiday season.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable (and filling) Thanksgiving.  And I hope no one lost their minds on Black Friday.  I am sure you have heard the stories from around the country (including here in SoCal where a woman sprayed pepper spray into a crowd of shoppers.  Insane).  Anyway, our Thanksgiving was very nice, although this was the first without the children (after all, they have their own lives to live now L).  But we had a great time with our good friend Dianna and her family.  Great food, great company.  Who could ask for more?
Last week’s discussion was simple and timely. 
What are you thankful for?
First of all, everyone’s response was wonderful.  I mean EVERYONE’S.  It is hard to pick one that stood out, but if I were pressed to pick one, it would be this one from Paul.  Check it out:
“I am thankful that despite my ongoing battle with cancer, I can go to my treatments without the aid of a walker or wheelchair. When my treatment is over I can walk out with my wife and go home( one day I will run out). I am thankful for The Greatest Wife Ever. There is no doubt that without her, life as I know it would not be possible. I am thankful for three wonderful kids ( one deceased). I am thankful for the best childhood a person could have. I was allowed the freedom to explore and enjoy life to the fullest. I was blessed to have a Mother who instilled the values that would lead all of her children to be productive responsible adults. She gave us the skills to pass these things on to our children. I am thankful for a loving and caring family. Siblings, inlaws, and relatives.”
Can’t add anything to that.  Brilliant.
I hope we all took a moment to give thanks.  More important, let’s not wait until November of each year.  Let’s be thankful everyday.  This is not a religious or political comment.  Just something we should be doing all of the time, in my humble opinion.
Just a thought.
Ok, onto today’s topic.  As we do each week, we begin with the rules:
Rule #1 – Absolutely no politics allowed
Rule #2 – ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS ALLOWED!
Breakfast today is going to be healthy.  We are going to start with turkey bacon, some egg whites and some fresh fruit.  Top that off with a nice cup of fresh-brewed coffee and let’s get started on this 27th day of November 2011.
Today’s topic will require you to think a little.  Maybe a lot.  Or maybe not at all.  Let’s see what happens.  Here is the scenario:
You are given $1 million.  You have one day to spend it on anything you want.  However - and it is a really big however – you cannot spend any of it on yourself.  So, no paying off the mortgage, no putting the money in the bank, no buying a Bentley.  Nothing on you.
First of all, $1 million does not go as far as you may think.  My first thought was to give a good portion, say $500,000 to my family (my real family and not distant relatives that I have never met), ensuring that their future (at least short-term future), would be financially easier.  I would donate $250,000 to begin a student arts program in the Inland Empire (a little dream of mine – well, maybe not so little dream).  Now it gets tough.  I think I would give $100,000 to Los Angeles High School – my alma mater and a once great school that has fallen way down from where it should be.  And the final $150,000 would go to a local food bank.  Make sure that people who need food would get food – even for a short time.
I know it does not sound very sexy, but that is what I would do with $1 million in 24 hours.
Now it’s on you. 
How would you spend $1 million in 24 hours – and it can’t be for you.
Take a bite of the turkey bacon (it’s better than it sounds) and take a good sip of the freshly-brewed coffee and start writing.  Give it some thought, be honest and start writing.  As always, have fun with it.
Catch you all on the flipside…..


Sunday, November 20, 2011

MORNING CUP OF COFFEE FOR NOVEMBER 20TH 2011

Good morning everyone and welcome to week number twenty-nine of Morning Cup of Coffee.   We are really getting fall weather here in SoCal.  It is cold (by SoCal standards), and contrary to its reputation, we are getting a change of seasons.  Our trees (at least here in the Inland Empire) are actually changing colors.  It’s not quite Midwest-like, but it is nice to see.
Our discussion last week was based on the following question:
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
Everyone had an interesting take.  But for this week, I gotta go with Christina Wilson -no nepotism here.  It was a good posting.  Well, read for yourself and you decide:
Peace. Fighting is ridiculous. I hate you because you eat red meat, you hate me because I voted for Obama, I hate you because you hate me because blah blah. If everyone took all the time they spent hating other human beings and focused it on doing something that brings people together, we could get a couple things done. I believe it will happen someday, but it's depressing because I know none of us will live to see it. I have faith, mankind.... But you gotta want it too.”
See?  I told you so….
Ok, let’s get to today’s topic.  As we do each week, we begin with the rules:
Rule #1 – Absolutely no politics allowed
Rule #2 – ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS ALLOWED!
So, let’s begin. For breakfast, this is something my wife turned me onto years ago.  Pancakes with peanut butter.  Hey, don’t say yuck until you try it.  It is delicious.  So, after a fork full of that, take a good, long sip of house blend coffee with a touch of cinnamon and let’s begin on this 20th day of November 2011.
Today’s topic will be simple and straight to the point.  This is Thanksgiving week, and the question is this:
What are you thankful for?
For me, it’s easy.  First, my health.  Really glad to have that after I was shocked to my toes this year with a heart attack.  I don’t take anything for granted anymore. 
Second, the love and support of my family.  I do not know where I would be without that. 
And finally, I am thankful for everything that we as human beings have had, everything that we currently have, and everything that we will have in the future.  After this, nothing else really matters.
 Ok everyone.  It is your turn.  What are you thankful for?  So, take another bite of the pancakes with peanut butter, and another sip of the house blend (get that caffeine in your system) and start writing.  This is the week of Thanksgiving and we should all pause and give thanks to something in our lives.  No matter how small it may seem, we all have something to be thankful for.  Be honest and have fun with it.
Catch you all on the flipside…..

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MORNING CUP OF COFFEE FOR NOVEMBER 13TH 2011

Good morning everyone and welcome to week number twenty-eight of Morning Cup of Coffee.   It was a gray, drizzly Saturday here in SoCal that has given way to a perfectly sunshiny Sunday.  We got some much needed rain here going into the holiday season.  I hope those of you around the country are doing well and enjoying the weekend.  I also want to give a shout out to all of our veterans out there and hope you had a wonderful Veterans Day.  And I sincerely apologize for using the term “Shout out….”
Our discussion last week revolved around this question:
If you could start your life again and if you knew you could devote yourself to any occupation, what would you choose? And further, if the profession is risky, would you take the risk?
Really interesting and thoughtful responses.  The one that I felt was out of the box was this one from Suzanne Benet:
“I would love to have Lyle Spencer's job as a reporter for MLB.com covering Angels baseball. I've thought about starting a regular Angels baseball blog covering behind the scenes information like the best place to sit to catch a foul ball at the stadium or how all the transportation and lodging details are organized for the team by the traveling secretary. I wouldn't just want to recap the game results. Everybody does that. I would need access to people within the Angels organization to really be successful with the type of blog I have in mind.”
Very interesting take, Suzanne.  I say, go ahead and start your blog.  Don’t even think about it. It is so easy these days to begin a blog or website.  I think it’s a great idea.
Ok, let’s get to today’s topic.  As we do each week, we begin with the rules:
Rule #1 – Absolutely no politics allowed
Rule #2 – ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS ALLOWED!
So, let’s begin.  I have given a lot of thought as to what we will have for breakfast today with our Morning Cup of Coffee.  Although I cannot eat this stuff anymore (well, not more than twice a year anyway), I have chosen some good ole artery-hardening chicken fried steak with creamy gravy and some fried potatoes.  We will go a little healthier next week.  Take a long sip of cinnamon latte and let’s get started on this 13th day of November 2011.
 Here is the question:
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
On the surface it seems simple.  But let’s say you have one shot to get your message across.  What would you like to communicate?
I have given this a great deal of thought and the words that keep coming to mind are “Understanding” and “Compassion.”  When I was younger I must admit that I was – as were many members of my generation – angry.  Angry at everything.  Frustrated with everything.  Angry and frustrated with those who did not see things as we saw them.  Now that I am older and presumably wiser, everything is not black and white as before.  There are gray areas that are not easily definable.  So, those words “Understanding” and “Compassion” are part of my feelings today more than they ever were before.
The message that I would like to get across to a large group is that we as a people need to be more understanding and more compassionate to those around us.  Understanding for those who may not agree with us, but have a valuable opinion that is worth listening to.  Compassion for those who may not be as fortunate as we.  Understanding and compassion for those who have made mistakes (like we all have) and sometimes deserve a second chance.  We are all human beings who are a bit flawed.  Some of us more than others.  But we are humans who need each other and deserve our understanding. 
Now, this is not in all cases,  For instance, I have little patience for certain things - like the news this past week coming out of Penn State University where I have neither compassion nor understanding for the accused and those who participated in the coverup.  But I certainly do for the victims and the university.
Ok, that was a bit long winded but you get the point.  So, what message would you like to get across to a large group of people?  Take your time because this may be more difficult than you think.  Or maybe it was just difficult for me.  Anyway, take a fork full of the chicken fried steak, and a sip of that cinnamon latte and start writing.  Again, there is no right or wrong responses.   Just post your honest opinion.
Catch you all on the flipside…..

Sunday, November 6, 2011

MORNING CUP OF COFFEE FOR NOVEMBER 6TH 2011

Good morning everyone and welcome to week number twenty-seven of Morning Cup of Coffee on this first Sunday of November.  I hope everyone enjoyed their extra hour of sleep this morning.  I know I did.
We are having fall weather here in SoCal.  Sunny, but cool and crisp.  High is in the 60s, low in the 40s.  I am a native Angelino and love our year-round sun, but I must admit that I do enjoy this cooler weather.
We had fun last week talking about scary movies, books and events for our Halloween edition.  A lot of great postings including this one from Jerry Garrett:
“I love the scary movies.  I really like the zombie moves like the Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead. I remember taking Dee to see some of these while we were dating and they would scare the crap out of her which would make for a good cheap date because she wouldn’t eat anything after watching those zombies eating the people.  I don’t know that any of them really scare me most are pretty comical with the cheesy special affects especially the old ones.  I am with the majority of the others I don’t like the ones that mess with your head and I don’t really care for the slasher movies.  Zombie movies fascinate me.  I’ve gotten hooked on the TV series The Walking Dead.”
Good post, Jerry.  Funny line about Dee being a cheap date after watching zombies eating the people.
Ok, let’s get to today’s topic.  As we do each week, we begin with the rules:
Rule #1 – Absolutely no politics allowed
Rule #2 – ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS ALLOWED!
So, let’s begin.  For breakfast today, we are going to the Minnesota and Michigan for a breakfast of Danish Aebleskivers (if you have been to either Solvang, California or Leavenworth, Washington you know what these delicious calorie-laden breakfast bites are) and let’s go old school and have a nice old-fashioned cup of Folgers and let’s get started on this 6th day of November 2011.
Most of us fall into professions.  Not because we love it or that was our aspiration.  But you do something for a couple years, are good at it and get paid pretty well and stick with it.  A neighbor of ours is a licensed doctor.  He ended up quitting and becoming a really successful real estate agent.  Why, because he loved selling homes and didn’t like being a doctor.  But how many of us do what we really love?  A recent survey by US News and World Report stated that only about thirty percent of college graduates actually work in professions in their major course of study.
If I had it to do all over again, I would dedicate myself one hundred percent to writing.  It is definitely something that I love and I am decent at.  But writing is not practical and it is risky.  But is it worth it to take that risk to do something that you really love?  If I had to do it all again, I would take the risk.
So, the question for today is:  If you could start your life again and if you knew you could devote yourself to any occupation, what would you choose? And further, if the profession is risky, would you take the risk?
Ok, let’s do this.  Take a bite of the Danish Aebleskivers and a nice long sip of the Folgers coffee and start writing.  Remember, there is no right or wrong answer and you will not be judged.  Just post your honest opinion.  And most of all have fun with it. 
Catch you all on the flipside…..