Pursuit of happiness?

June 23rd, 2015 2 comments

Where do you get your strength? Where do you find happiness? Does happiness just seem to find you? Does your happiness come from money? From your job? Family? Wife / girlfriend? The home you own? The car you drive? From food? Maybe from alcohol or drugs? Or from a prescription bottle specifically designed to help make happiness? Maybe your happiness comes from your diet or your weight? From your accomplishments? Or from your friends? Are you happy when the sun shines or when you have a day off to yourself? Or do you find happiness through others, by volunteering, or through philanthropy?

Maybe you’re still trying, attempting to find happiness through all of the above at one time or another. Maybe it’s not one single thing, so you’re taking a shot at several areas where you might find happiness. Life is full of ups and downs, and I struggle to find the source. Why is it some days just feel better from the time I get out of bed, all through the work day and in to the night? Then the very next day – for some unknown reason – can feel really crappy?

I am absolutely sure that happiness comes from within – certainly not to be found looking around aimlessly. I want to find that inner switch that enables happiness to win out over sadness more often than not.

Categories: personal, Uncategorized Tags:

Stepping out of the comfort zone

May 14th, 2014 No comments

I’m one that likes to check a map or Google it before I depart to an unknown destination. I also create a list (at minimum a mental list) before I go shopping for groceries. I’ll do some research before making even a modest purchase. You get the drift – I’m a planner. I make excellent decisions after I do the appropriate amount of legwork.

Now let’s transfer that line of thinking into the professional work realm. I assume that sought after skills in an employee would include those attributes mentioned above – someone that makes excellent decisions by way of methodical research. Someone that does not jump the gun and forge ahead without at the very least asking a few questions.

Yet I am finding out that is NOT the case. In today’s super-fast-paced world what is most sought after is that employee with attributes that include quick decision making, the ability to forge ahead with confidence and to run with the ball all the way to the . . . oh, ok . . . the end zone.

Employers must establish a trust level before allowing an employee to make decisions on its behalf in that manner. Even if that employee shows visible signs of stress and discomfort at doing so, beware – one may be asked to be in that position again and again. And what do you know, that employee shines even when out of their comfort zone and is rewarded with even more big decisions to make on behalf of the company!

For me, long gone are the days where you work within your area of trained expertise (the comfort zone). I am asked time and time again to do these things, so the trust is there. But wow, the stress is there, too. I grumble a bit (a lot), and if I step back like I have done today, I see that I am actually being trusted with responsbility that others are not. I also see that rewards are tangible via the accomplished feeling I obtain and that I’m actually growing as a person by being pushed.

Now, back to my list.

Categories: finance, personal Tags:

Race Day Memories – Indianapolis 500

May 27th, 2012 No comments
Marty Indy 500 1992

Working the Pits on Race Day 1992

Twenty years? How did that happen? I was 27 and working for Fox 59 in Indianapolis as a news photographer and thoroughly enjoying the month of May. Each news organization had their own newsroom near the pagoda where we set up monitors and editing equipment, prepared packages to air later in the day, shared stories, stopped for some food and drink, charged batteries (literal) and even relaxed a little.

Excitement – Everyone on the news team was excited for the Indy 500. We spent hours and hours at the track developing stories covering drivers, fans, weather, speed, practice, qualifications, pit crews, food vendors, luxury suites, Yellow Shirts, parties, camping, sunburn, team owners, controversy, traffic and more. Our two sports guys were Kerry Addington and Brian Hammons although most members of the on-air news staff made it out to the track to put a story together. Bob Donaldson and Chris Wright frequented the track during the month.

Race Day – Our new-to-Indianapolis news director Jim Sanders prepared us by deferring to Brian Hammons who had the most experience with Race Day. (Brian had worked for other news organizations and was actually  working as a pit reporter for the IMS Radio Network on this day.) Our team was focused with their assignments as we loaded our gear. We were escorted by police into the track (what a thrill!) and to our newsroom along the main straightaway. Our fire suits customized for Fox 59 were issued several days prior so those working the pits were protected.

You may remember the weather was cold! This presented a challenge to everyone as we were sure we’d be hot and uncomfortable. Not so! Here are some random memories:

  • Feeling special. Yes I felt fortunate and special to be so close, much closer than a fan could be. Working every day out at the track exposed to drivers and owners and celebrities felt great.
  • Loud. I remember how loud it was, even with ear plugs for protection. Then I had to put an earpiece in to hear directions over the radio and had to turn that up so loud it hurt. There was likely a better way.
  • Access. With the television camera and credentials, access to most everything was a given.
  • Watch out! With cars coming in and out of the pits, you are responsible for getting out of the way. I had to be smart and not put myself in danger. There were a few close calls.
  • Cars on the grid. Prior to the “start your engines” call, I was out on the grid with all the cars, colors, people and that crowd! The grandstands were packed. Crazy.
  • Confusion. It was so loud and communication was tough. I did not have a good sense of what was going on but I knew I had to be taking good video. Our rookie news team likely was not as prepared as we could have been – maybe we should have been listening to the radio broadcast to determine where to go.
  • Crazy race. Remember? Roberto Guerrero crashed on the pace lap, Michael Andretti led most of the way, and  Al Unser, Jr. just barely won by 0.043 seconds over a hard charging Scott Goodyear.
  • I was in Scott Goodyear’s pits at the end of the race and from the reaction of the pit crew thought he may have won the race. That quickly changed as we learned that Little Al had won.

To all those news photographers working today – be safe! You’ll have memories for a lifetime to cherish.

Categories: personal, photography, professional Tags:

Big Weekend of Transition and Celebration

May 11th, 2012 2 comments

What a huge weekend in store for the people in my life! Kayla has completed her degree at Butler and commencement ceremonies take place on Saturday. Her sister Tara is flying in from San Antonio today to help celebrate.

Kayla and her housemates have a party planned starting immediately after the Hinkle Fieldhouse graduation ceremony, and the parents of the graduates have used Facebook to help coordinate food, tables, supplies and other arrangements. The weather looks to be cooperating as well, with sunshine and temperatures in the middle 70s.

Then Mother’s Day on Sunday – the timing was perfect for Laura,  with both her girls here to take her to a nice dinner. Lots and lots in store with a wonderful future ahead for all of us.

Categories: family, personal Tags:

When You Don’t Have Kids

May 9th, 2012 No comments

Is that what’s missing? When I’m seeking something better, something more?

When the world around me is no longer about me, is that what’s missing? When I don’t see myself as the most important, is that the way it was always supposed to be?

When I hear guys at work talking about their kids in T-ball, smiling so hard inside that it spills out of them, with such force that they revel in telling anyone about what happened over the weekend with their kid – I nod and move along and wonder – have I ever smiled like that?

When I’m told “you don’t really know what it’s like, you’ve never had kids” – is that what’s missing in my life?

When I’m no longer proud of me and I’m longing for something to be proud of – is that what having a kid is all about? Never running out of something to be proud of?

Categories: personal Tags:

Time for an update?

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

It most certainly is. I have been away from the blog for awhile but after stumbling across some of my old posts and enjoying what I read, I decided to come back and see how this feels.

30 Years! Our high school class of 1982 president sent a message recently asking for input on how we wanted to handle a reunion. My goodness – 30 years. As my mom and I agreed, the mind does not age but the body fools us when we look in the mirror and don’t see that person we knew from back then.

Milestones: Laura’s daughter Kayla is graduating from Butler University this month. I remember the feeling of having the world in front of me, having all options open to me – and it was overwhelming. Kayla has the smarts, contacts and experience to handle what’s in front of her and I’m looking forward to helping in any way I can.

New friends: Facebook is a huge time waster, but I have recently found a group of fellow diabetes insipidus buddies that makes my visits to Facebook leaving me feeling like that time spent is more productive. What a wealth of information! Connecting with those that have many of the same experiences has been comforting. It’s also a place where I can contribute my knowledge and hopefully help others gain some understanding.

Marty with his JackBacks iPhone back.

The Amber Bamboo JackBacks

Technology geek: Not a high-tech gadget, but combining wood with the glass and aluminum that makes up my iPhone has proven to be just the individual piece of flair I was looking for. I found JackBacks, “real wood iPhone accessories,” and ordered the Amber Bamboo wooden back. I like it. My goal was to get rid of the cover I was using, even though it was pretty minimal, to better show off the design of the phone while throwing some of my personality at it. I think I nailed it!

Finances: Always on my mind. I like to think I’m in a little better control and see some positives very soon. My hope is that I mellow out on the whole money thing but I don’t think I’m wired that way. Somebody, give me something else to worry about!

Health: I see my doctor at least four times per year and I’d like to cut that back to twice a year. To do that, I need to get back on the healthy side by exercising and eating properly. Sounds so easy, right!?

Categories: family, finance, iPhone, personal, technology Tags:

Square Credit Card Terminal for iPhone

October 24th, 2010 3 comments

Square Card Reader

Square Card Reader for iPhone

After a few weeks of anticipation I received my Square card reader in the mail yesterday. For a gadget freak this makes for a great day. What is Square? It’s a company, an app, and a hardware device all in one that sheds the traditional expenses and complications of acquiring and using a credit card terminal for the ease and simplicity of downloading a free app and accepting credit card payments via your iPhone.

No, this is not for everyone although I see immediate benefits for those that have the opportunity to sell their products and services but not the means to take credit card payments. Have a booth at at art fair? Collecting money from parents for kid’s soccer, baseball or football uniforms? Collecting donations? This is a super easy way to do so. Enter the amount to collect, add a note, optionally take a photo of the item, swipe the card and send an email receipt to the customer. Your money is deposited into the account of your choice weekly.

You do have to watch the expenses though. First of all, consider you may not have made that sale in the first place if you did not have the ability to collect via credit card. Then, realize 2.75% + 15 cents per transaction will be removed by Square before deposits are made. (If you collect more than $1,000 other conditions apply.)

I’m open for business and now accepting credit card payments with my Square device – anybody care to make a donation? Check it out at https://squareup.com/

Categories: finance, iPhone, technology Tags:

Some random thoughts

April 6th, 2009 No comments

I haven’t taken the time to put together a decent blog post lately, so I’ll honor that trend with the following:

PowerBars: There are way too many flavors and varieties. I can’t remember which ones I like and my latest purchase resulted in a not so palatable choice. By the time I get through the double box from Sam’s Club and go shopping for more I won’t remember what flavor to avoid.

Tostito’s Baked Scoops: Yum. Totally worth it.

My car: The TT is getting an alignment this week after completing a clutch job that stretched out over the last month. I’ve promised I’ll drive it more this summer. First two events are scheduled – April 25 our local club has a southern Indiana fun run and the end of April sees a 4 day event near Gatlinburg, Tennessee called quattro de Mayo.

Kiva.org: A great place to lend and re-lend money to entrepreneurs looking to improve themselves and their community. Trouble is – Kiva is so popular there are times when there are too many lenders and not enough loans available to fund. “Look, I got money to spend in here.”

HDMI/HDCP: Apparently, my 4 year old DLP TV is outdated. I can’t get my components to display content via HDMI cable because of HDCP issues. It needs to establish a handshake, according to the knowledge base found via Google search. Time for a new TV – awww shucks.

Accomplishment: Screens scrubbed and windows washed on a recent spring-like day. I love clean windows. (Rather, I love the instant gratification that cleaning windows provides.) I also cleaned the glass doors on the fireplace with a nice result.

Letting go: It doesn’t hurt so bad to let some things go and learn how to give. It’s like ripping off a band-aid. After resisting because of an imaginary excrucitating pain, living without that protective cover can actually speed the healing and promise renewal. (OK, so that was a stretch to say the least!)

Honesty: I guess it still exists. Tried to purchase tires for Laura’s Saturn Vue at Tire Barn and the sales guy said I don’t need tires. Well – OK.

Work: I’m trying my best to avoid that point where too much work + putting out fires + contstant distractions = mistakes and decreased quality. When do I ask for help?

And – Did you know a wooden clothes pin can be used as a chip clip?

Categories: Audi TT, personal Tags:

Car Cache

February 21st, 2009 3 comments

Haven’t blogged in a while so I thought I’d share the day’s activity. On late notice, a group of about 30 Audi and VW enthusiasts gathered this morning at epWerks, a local tuning shop owned by Ian Baas. Since the weather today was ghastly, we chose to stay inside and socialize, enjoying the goodies on display in the shop lobby and checking out what vehicles were in various states of undress on the shop floor.

The group then proceeded to a non-descript garage on the northwest side of Indianapolis containing a treasure trove of vehicles to drool over. I certaintly don’t know the makes / models / years of these cars, I only know they are enjoyable to look at and have many stories to tell if you could roll back the odometer like a time machine. I think I heard someone say “Is this heaven?” Yes, this place was pretty close. Great to see all the smiles and joy among those participating. All photos here.

Categories: Audi TT Tags:

Furnace Fix Update – Draft Inducer Motor Replaced

February 8th, 2009 3 comments

As a follow up to my previous post regarding fixing my furnace, the draft inducer motor part arrived quickly, but I waited a few days since the weather was hovering around zero degrees Fahrenheit when it arrived. And, I didn’t want to risk a screw up and possibly living without heat for a night.

Since it was 55 degrees out on Saturday, I took care of the replacement. Pretty simple, the only scary part was the thought of losing one of the sheet metal screws into the depths of the furnace. Here’s a photo of the final result (note the new style cooling fan).

Draft-Inducer-Motor-New Motor-Package

Categories: finance Tags: , , ,