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San Francisco 11-14-09

We went to San Francisco yesterday and started things off right by going to Taylor’s which has awesome burgers and sweet potato fries. We surprised our birthday boy at the Motown Madness musical.  Motown isn’t my favorite music in the world but I mentioned before going in that as long as I’m not the one singing I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.  Little did I know almost half way through the musical they would pull me up on stage to sing and dance.  Let me tell you I put up a good fight to try and keep from going on stage but the crowd was applauding so what can you really do at that point.

As you can see I have some awesome moves and even decided to do a move out of turn.  Yeah I’m the dweeb who turns when nobody else turns!  We got some of it on iPhone video which isn’t the greatest quality but you aren’t supposed to record in the theater so we are lucky we got what we have.

Then after they humiliated me the first time after intermission they came back for more by asking “hey where did that guy from Livermore go?”.  They came and made me stand up again and ask what my name is.  They said they have never had someone so shy come up on stage so they decided to keep after me.  They then asked who was sitting next to me and pulled her up so we could slow dance in front of everyone in the theater.  For a wallflower like me it made me turn bright red I’m sure but I kept smiling and tried to make the most of it.

After the musical we went to North Beach for some italian food and decided on Tony’s Pizza.  We didn’t know it at the time but it was Tony Pizzano’s restaurant who is the world pizza making champion.  Tony was there and we sat right next to the kitchen so we were able to get a few exchanges in with him.  Tony was really nice to us and made sure everything was good.  We then went to the Mark Hopkins Hotel to see the birthday boy’s hotel room which was very nice.  We went up to the Top of the Mark in a sweatshirt and tennis shoes but for the most part they were nice about letting us quickly look around.  We then went to get some coffee and then headed back to BART.  It was a really nice day, even if I did make a fool of myself.

I’m not sure if I have blogged about this yet but I have my own way of measuring the success of a day.  I say if you will remember the day on your death bed it was a good day.  So many days pass us by and we simply live them day to day not really making the most of them.  I can tell you yesterday was a death bed day!

OK here is the first video of me getting moved to the center of the stage because they were worried about me running off.  I’m in the middle of the stage which is good because one of the singers blocks me most of the time.

Oh and last but certainly not least, here is me turning when nobody else turned.  I rule at this if you can’t tell.  Oh and a little singing.

Curt Garbett: Red Tree Leadership & Development


I am at the CMMA Fall Conference and wanted to share my notes with everyone from Curt Garbett, the keynote speaker.  Curt brings his experience and expertise to the Red Tree following previous employment with Right Management Consultants as VP of Sales and with the Covey Leadership Center as Senior Account Executive.  In his current position as Vice President , Curt has worked with a host of well-known companies including Frito-Lay, McDonalds, the US Navy, AT&T, Sun Microsystems, Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard, BMW, Novartis, and Starbucks.

Types of Change

  • Change done to us
  • Change we initiate
  • Change we request of others

One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change.

Four Change Skills

  • Skill #1 – Anticipating Change
    • Noticing smaller changes early to predict what is likely to happen next.
  • Skill #2 – Taking New Actions Now
    • Doing something quickly, evaluating the results, and moving quickly again.
  • Skill #3 – Moving Beyond Fear
    • Realizing when fear or comfort hold you back, and moving past it
  • Skill #4 – Imagining Real Success
    • Creating a picture of what you really want to happen

“Some people change when they see the light, other change when they feel the heat” – Caroline Schoeder

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less” – General Eric Shinseki

When is change a good idea to you?

  • When things are stagnant
  • When you are failing

Change is a good idea when it is my idea.  When it is someone else’s idea we resist it.

Change is:

  • Innovation
  • Doing something differently
  • Evolution
  • Inevitable
  • Terrifying

Smell the cheese often so you know if it is getting old.

When you change what you believe, you change what you do.

The trap of the comfort zone.  Don’t get comfortable in what you do, always push yourself.

“The brick walls are there for a reason,” he said during his lecture. “The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” – Randy Pausch, the Last Lecture

His daughter didn’t know how waves worked the first time she went to the beach.  She went running out in the water and a few second later got nailed by a wave which knocked her over.  As soon as she was able to get back up, bam…another wave.  The waves of life aren’t going to stop coming so learn to adapt to them.

An Unusual Love Story (Email I Received)

Friends Forever – An orangutan was in a rescue and not doing well.  This old hound wandered in absolutely emaciated and the orangutan snapped to like his buddy had arrived. He stayed with the hound night and day until he was well and in the whole scenario found a reason to live.  Suryla and Roscoe are now inseparable.


Where you lead, I will friends Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick hound.


Doggy paddle's the order of the day here for the couple who live at the Tiger's Sanctuary in Myrtle Beach , SC.


Suryia and Roscoe spend hours together every day - they're particularly keen on swimming.


There's always time to chill.


For once, Roscoe's letting it all hang out.


A dog's not just a man's best friend, he's an orangutan's too.

Santa Cruz Day Trip

We went to Santa Cruz’s Beach Boardwalk yesterday and the weather was fantastic (low 80’s).  There was lots of Labor Day weekend traffic getting there so it ended up taking a few hours.  We walked the boardwalk, went on the ferris wheel, had a great Mexican food lunch, played miniature golf, played some arcade games, walked on the beach, walked to the end of the pier, watched sea lions for a while, and by that time it was 6:30pm and time to head back.

While walking on the beach I saw Oliver Choy and his girlfriend.  Oliver looked to be doing well and I was really glad we ran into him.  I think I last saw Oliver down in Vignette Village in Austin, TX maybe 3-4 years ago.  Below are some videos of the sea lions hanging out under the pier.  We got a tip from a nice lady at the end of the pier that you can take the stairs down and look under the piers.  The sea lions are able to jump up onto the piers and I got a video of them (below) unsuccessfully and successfully jumping onto the pier which was fun to see.  I lost at miniature golf, I lost at air hockey, and I lost at a car racing game so it wasn’t a winning day for me but it was really enjoyable and lots of fun.

Unsuccessful Sea Lion Jump

Successful Sea Lion Jump



Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”

“The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said- “It made a difference for that one.”

How many “starfish” do you come across in a day?

– Author Unknown