Ad Hoc Tennis With Kids

Sitting at the computer this Saturday night thinking….it’s way too nice out tonight not to get outside.  Reached for my tennis bag and headed over to the community courts.  Figured if there’s nobody there, I’ll just hit against the board.  Nobody there and the board was gone.  Had a silent chuckle.  It does indeed need replacing due to chips, cracks and holes.  My balls were forever veering off due from such.  Watched a group kick a soccer ball around and then looked back at the court and there were three kids sitting on one of the tennis nets.  Oops….they were gonna catch it.  Headed over and talked to them about how tennis players like to keep the net at the same height and hence nobody sits on it.  They asked what I’m doing here anyway.  I mentioned that I thought I might catch a game but nope.  They asked if I had another racquet and if they could play.  Hard to say no under the circumstances and yes my spare was in the kit.

It started out as three enthusiastic boys.  We set up mini tennis boundaries (the services boxes) for some back and forth.  There was some chat about whose turn it would be next.  Then “Slam” came along who set up the rules.  I thought how ironic of a boy’s name on this evening in the context of the most celebrated of tennis competitions.  There was going to be five misses each before they handed off to the next in line.  Skateboarders appeared and organized mayhem ensued.  The three boarders all of whom knew clearly that skate boarding is disallowed on the court but they cooperatively heeded my request to skate the perimeter.  Slam showed great promise while making his shots.  Then came along five more cousins including I’d say a three year old little boy and a six year old girl.  Of course all kids were tracking the balls and this girl intuitively knew exactly how to one bounce a ball back to me with the straight arm in the air just like at Wimbledon.  If she only knew she needs no ball girl lessons.

With dimming light I huddled up the clan and exclaimed they all have great potential to learn tennis skills and suggested that they inquire with their parents for racquets.  Upon packing my bag, a skateboarder gave me one last reason to smile when he whizzed by and said thanks for not yelling at us.

Ain’t No Such Thing As A Good Job

Okay, this header is a direct quote from a mentor Dave Severn. Apparently, back when he had good English (Ain’t) he was broke.  In fact, the whole theme of this post reflects on Dave’s famous speech, “Pigs Don’t Know Pigs Stink”.  Dave has always been charismatic with his metaphors.

I started my own company back in 2002.  My disposition has always contrasted with a corporate culture loaded with onerous dogmatism and self celebrated ego.  If it’s a rat race, do you really want to participate?  Call it what it is and then get off your rusty dusty (thanks for this one too Dave) and do something about it.  The pilgrims with Columbus didn’t board up on three ships and come to America to get a job (defer once again to you Dave).  So, what’s holding you back?  Is the responsibility of self employment too much to bear?  Is it the prospect of running at least a couple of calendar quarters in the red?  What about the spouse?  Can he/ she eat wieners and beans during the last few days of the month in the beginning as a compromise for fulfilling a freedom dream?  I can’t remember the last time I showed up at the office before 8:30am.  How ‘bout you?  Believe me – sleeping in on weekdays really is a good thing. Rush hour traffic only became a reminder yesterday upon traveling to see a friend play tennis.

You can change jobs if you don’t like your situation.  You might just be going from bad to worse once you become witness to the underlying dysfunctional subculture of your new company.  These kinds of intangibles don’t tend to rear their ugly heads until y’er about two weeks in and good luck attempting to discern them during your job interview.  Then bite the bullet (Dave, you master of alliteration) and hang on for the ride….perhaps some sleepless nights and frustrations manifesting on the home front.  In the mornings while shaving you can rehearse the mantra, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.  May just help you cope.

Capitalism doesn’t get taught in schools as you know.  Have you ever met a wealthy professor (again, your line Dave)?  The brilliant capitalists often tend to drop out of school because they have too much to offer and are anxious to get on with it.  Who develops the curriculum?  You guessed it and it’s a fat chance that they’ve ever drafted an invoice or sold a commercial good.

Your best years of your life are before 65, wouldn’t you say, so………?

Media’s Contribution To Dysfunction

I enjoy reading news articles on the internet.  However; it may become more difficult to access good articles in the future due to this incessant compulsion for news outlets to have us “register” for their service.  Up to now, clearing browser cookies regularly has reset the limited article count back to zero.   Advertisement dollars do not appear to be sufficient for news outlets and they want your credit card.   The quality of writing and information flow doesn’t seem to justify it.

On July 15th the Vancouver Sun has directed us to “How To Beat Grief of Lost Job”.  Folks might count themselves lucky rather than load internet space with unfounded grief. Also on July 15th Christie Blatchford from Postmedia News suggests that Calgary deserves to know more about the case of missing grandparents and child in spite of the Police Chief entailing that their murder prosecution would possibly be compromised.  What business is it of mine or yours assuming we have confidence in our police force!

Then there’s the story of the unripe square water melons aired by CTV News on this same day.  Apparently a Vancouver retailer is asking $199.99 for each.  If the purpose of this story to illuminate the idiocy of humanity, rest assured, we are witness to this on frequent days simply driving the city streets.

How about the J Crew story (once again on the very same day of July 15th) whereby eating disorder experts are expressing indignant retorts to the announcement that J Crew will produce 000 sized clothes for women.  Capitalism is a great construct.  Boycott their stores in protest by not shopping there!  I’m not stopping you and neither are other sojourners of cyber space.

…..and for the small sampling of stories not covered but of interest to a civil society seeking justice, security, growth, and perpetual liberty:

  1. Strength of monetary system
  2. Scrutiny of policy platforms of Alberta Progressive Conservative candidates
  3. Canadian arctic sovereignty
  4. Legal system’s shortcomings
  5. Public expenditures – waste versus value
  6. Reflections on successful functioning social, business, and governmental constructs

Message to the producers of news…you are losing your way and your credibility by seeking the incredulous rather than matters consequential of mankind’s future well being.

Driven by Robert Herjavec

If you are considering starting a business, or if you are in business but considering making some changes,  I highly recommend this book, Driven by Robert Herjavec.  Although  Herjavec  does not gravitate toward the minutiae of running a firm, he effectively communicates the values required to achieve success as well as referencing particular circumstances inevitable to all business owners.  In this referencing, he proposes that business owners have responsibilities to multiple parties and it is in this context that decisions are based.  Herjavec is unapologetic about his humble roots and how his modest beginnings were instrumental in driving him passionately forward in business.  A contrast is drawn between those who “pitch” business concepts on the “Dragon’s Den” and himself as the more pragmatic business administrator without the “MBA”.

Herjavec illustrates the situation which propelled him in business at the earliest stage and what I remember thinking at the time of reading was how decisive he was at the most critical of times in a virtually undiscovered technological landscape.  His value system is on display throughout the book and evidently was paramount in the assembly of teams required for achievement.

Simple rules of thumb are presented in the context of business decisions.  Lifestyle issues are addressed as well as the personal characteristics required to excel in a business pursuit.  A philosophical perspective is cited when confronted with banking and regulatory matters.  The creative element is highlighted as is one critical common cause leading to regression.

You will not acquire any technical administrative skill from this book but you will come away thinking that some like Herjavec thrive amidst chaos and from there flows finance.