I admire many more people now than I did when I was a younger man. Possibly it took me over sixty years to mature beyond the hedonistic stage of development.  Whatever the cause, I am now awed many times every day by what others have accomplished.  I look at blogs created by others and am amazed at the amount of work I now know has gone into something as seemingly simple as writing and publishing a blog.

This web site and blog is probably the closest I will ever come to following the footsteps of Daniel Boone.  I am wandering around in the wilderness, a digital one, and dealing daily with whatever unknown confronts me.

Frequently, at least every few days, I have one of those days when I feel I am on the right track for getting somewhere and bright crisp ideas for things to write about and business ideas bubble up in my mind.  These flashes always seem to occur when I am somewhere other than at the keyboard trying to write something that makes sense.  By the time I get to the computer and keyboard I am overwhelmed by the things I could be doing if I only knew how.  This morning I made a tiny step toward understanding how the menu setup works in WordPress.  That is progress.  I am now going to save this page of rambling and attempt to make it findable in a menu.  Wish me luck.

Goodby Grumpy

I have considered myself positive and courageous most of my life and when we decided to leave Washington State and become permanent Arizona residents again I thought I was being positive and courageous as usual.  After all, I had built a good base for my real estate sales in Kirkland and moving meant starting over in Arizona with possibly many months before developing any income again.  To  drive home the seeming lunacy of leaving my foundation building behind, during the drive to Arizona I received phone calls and emails from four separate possible customers I had been working on in Kirkland the past three years. Oh well, I said.  I will just start over again and do what others don’t like doing like I had done so many times in the fifty plus years before.

We got here less than 8 weeks ago and I already finished over 100 hours of classroom training and passed four tests totaling over 500 questions.  I finished jumping through hooks and filling out forms a week ago and I am now a full fledged Real Estate Broker in the State of Arizona.

The past three months took a toll evidenced by my weight dropping almost ten pounds for the first time since I graduated from high school. I should have been relieved and relaxed again once I proved I could still pass tests and take pressure week after week but I didn’t feel relaxed. When my license was issued I immediately signed up with a staffing company to work for very low hourly pay as a temporary “New Home Sales Rep”.  Faced with many months of finding live prospects before doing any good selling as a broker, I figured the temp work would be a way to learn about the new home sales part of the industry while at least earing enough to cover some of our monthly shortfall. I got my first assignment almost before I finished applying for the job and I am nearing the end of my first new home babysitting day as I write this.

When I awoke early this morning I realized I had become grumpy over the past few weeks. I have accepted the reality of being 77 years old in a world where most things and people are thrown away before becoming that overripe and I thought I could ignore reality without any side effects.  I realized this morning I was and am more frightened than I had let on to myself. That is my self diagnosis.  Being afraid manifests itself in many different ways and being grumpy is how it showed up in me. Fortunately I know the cure for  fear is usually action and acting.  I am still capable of action and I can still act like I am positive and courageous.

I will quit being grumpy and keep enjoying my good luck as long as I am allowed. There are still a lot of challenges to deal with and I like overcoming challenges.  I  have a wonderful and tolerant wife, two fantastic daughters, two terrific grandsons and more great friends than I deserve. What’s to be grumpy about when you are that lucky at any age?

Regardless of how much money I make as a real estate broker, as long as I am still able, my goal is going to be “A Helpful Resource”.

When My Parents Said Go, I went

They Told Me To Go to OH

Back in the 1950s Oak Harbor was a combination of a Dutch Reform town and a navy town.  The Dutch Reform Church doesn’t seem to be talked about as much now as it was then but Oak Harbor is still a Navy town with lots of Dutch influence.

In 1956 I was a junior at Vancouver  (AKA Fort Vancouver) High School when one day my parents said: “You are moving to Oak Harbor Washington and will continue high school there.  They owned a home and some property near Oak Harbor and my maternal grandmother and my brother had been living in the house for the past couple of years.  My brother was buying the Oak Harbor machine shop and it never occurred tome to ask why I was all of a sudden going to live in Oak Harbor.  At that stage of my life I understood our home was not a democracy.  I had learned by a fairly liberal application of corporal punishment it was safer to do what I was told to do than ask questions. I could say, looking back I was raised in a dysfunctional home but at the time it seemed normal to me. TV was fairly new and we hadn’t yet been educated about what was normal and what was dysfunctional.

I drove my non-cool 1950 Ford two door sedan to Oak Harbor and became an Oak Harbor HS student.  My first recollection of Oak Harbor HS was getting the opportunity to participate in a smoker.  It didn’t have anything to do with cigarettes or barbecuing.  It was an all school activity where students competed with each other.  I can’t say what other students did or what the other events were because I got the opportunity to box in the boxing ring with Fred.  I was told, or get the impression, Fred was not the first choice of a boxing partner by anyone with much intelligence.  It didn’t occur to me to wonder why I got the honor of trying to stay conscious in the ring with Fred for three rounds.  I did it and Fred won by a decision.  I didn’t get knocked out but we both agreed afterwards we probably had suffered concussions. Not only was I not smart or quick enough to realize I should have thought twice before boxing  a guy no one else wanted to box, I now realize, knowing what they now know about concussions, I should have been smart enough to lay down and take the count instead of standing there flat footed for three rounds slugging each other as hard as we could.

Personal message: Thank you for reading this far. If this glimpse into my past brought back any memories of you past that help explain who you are,and why you are the way you are, others might gain from you sharing memories with us.  Please respond with a comment in this “blog” and, if possible, send me an email note to By communicating through both the blog and email we can learn how blogging works more effectively.

The Donut Group

Donut Group
Donut Group

The Donut Group:

This message is written to thank the “Donut Group”. They allowed me to join, listen and occasionally say something I thought was funny during the serious debates on who should be elected president or how the world should be run by the politicians.   The only formal organization of this group is the members know who they are.  I was introduced to the group in 2013 shortly after Margaret and I rented an apartment in preparation for a permanent move from our “Oak Harbor” home to Kirkland.  I encountered one of the Donut group “members”   while participating in a Volksmarch hike near Kirkland. Since I was new in the area he suggested I stop by for coffee and donuts to meet some established locals. I accepted the invitation and, along with Margaret, have been a sort of regular every since. The “group” meets seven days a week and consists mostly of men, nearing or past retirement age, who have lived in the area for many years. No one calls the roll or chairs the meetings. Before Margaret started attending with me two or three times a week, there were a couple of other women who dropped in from time to time and one regular who is an inspiration to us all.

The group “meetings” are whenever at least two of the twenty to thirty sort of regulars show up for coffee and a donut or two between 6:30 and 9:30 a.m.  Most mornings the group consists of between three and ten or twelve “members”.

Margaret and I are going to be moving to Arizona in July, 2016 and look forward to attending whenever we are able to get back to Kirkland.  If all goes well, that will visit Kirkland quite often during the summer months. As a life long student of people, groups, philosophy and the world, my participation in the Donut Group has been a rewarding endeavor. The groupl is a little like a Rave without the music.  It has inspired me to launch the CQ Synergy Project, a writing and public speaking project I have procrastinated for many years.  The placement of this thank you message on the page of a web site/blog is the beginning of that project.

I invite all members of the Donut Group and anyone else who reads this to send me an email to if you are willing and interested in participating in an easy and free adventure.  I won’t flood anyone with emails or give your email address to anyone else but I will attempt to use a combination of email a web site and blogging to broaden and strengthen both my relationship with others and their enjoyment of whatever group(s) they belong to.

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