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Sunday, November 30, 2008

What Are You Reading This Week?

I'm reading the following:


"Influencer" The Power to Change Anything - K. Patterson, J. Greeny, D. Maxfield, R. McMillian and A. Switzler

"Outliers " The Story of Success - Malcom Gladwell


Fast Company
Movie Maker
Indie Slate

I will review the books when I finish them.....

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 2- Ghana Gospel Music

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 1 - Sweet Home

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Thought - Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

In these challenging times.... choose to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Check out a message from Tony Robbins....

Thought for the Day - Take Responsibility

"The only person responsible for your present reality and your future opportunities is you."
Darren Hardy

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
--William Arthur Ward

May Your Blessings Be Grand and Your Challenges Be Small. And If Your Challenges are Big May You Be Bigger.

Thanksgiving is a great day to take the time to be thankful for all the blessings you have in you life. I try to make gratitude a daily habit. I take the time to be grateful for all the abundance in my life.

Today is extra special because my family is going to spend Thanksgiving with my cousin Pat (who I recently reunited with after many decades), his wife Judy and his adult children and their families who I never met. I also get to be thankful for finding and being reunited with my family in Ireland, England, Germany, Australia, Canada and in the US this year. So even though Thanksgiving is a US holiday I send a big Happy Thanksgiving out to all of them all around the world.

What a great Thanksgiving. It doesn't get better than this.

So enjoy the day with your family and friends and take the time to be truly thankful.

Today I am grateful for so much: my family, especially my newly discovered family, relatives, friends, co-workers and all the people who have been part of my life. Thanks for being special and for all the good times we shared.

Thanksgiving Thought - Perspective and Blessing

This is from a 1990 study that has circulated on the Internet but it still probably holds true

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the people in the world.

If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than 500 million people in the world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

So this Thanksgiving be thankful but also think how you can make a contribution to others less fortunate.

Here are a couple of ways to make a difference:

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thought for the Day - Three Types of People

"There are three types of people—those who makes things happen; those that watch things happen; and those who say: what happened?"

Which are you?

Maybe it's time to be the type who makes things happen?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recommended Books - Nov 25th

Just ran across two books that I'm going to pick up for my holiday reading. I read the reviews of them and I recommend you check them out.

A story of a 101 year old George Dawson an African-American in Texas. His life has spanned 3 centuries. He lived through segregation in the South. This book reminds me of Angela's Ashes. What's so remarkable is both the upbeat title and the fact that he was an illiterate who started school at age 98 and is working towards his GED. An amazing person and story. This is a book I must read.

A novel that carries the message that life always has a second verse or second chance.

Thought for the Day - Be Fearless

Be Fearless

What can you be fearless about in life?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Master Cleanse Day 8 - Victory

I did it. I'm feeling good and almost don't want to start eating. Tomorrow I drink only fresh Orange Juice. Wednesday I will eat a salad. First solid meal in 10 days.

Victory. It always feels great to set a goal and achieve it. I usually try to surpass my goal but this time I will have to set for achieving it. I have created a Post Master Cleanse plan of exercise and diet to take me up to the New Year.

Just weighed myself. Lost 10 lbs.I also had the best workout in a long while. Not bad after not eating for 8 days. I'm psyched.

Personal Ramblings - Movie "Black Dynamite"

Yesterday I was invited by actor Michael Jai White to see an advance screening of his latest movie " Black Dynamite. It is a very, very funny spoof of the Black Exploitation films of the 70's. It will be receiving a midnight screening at Sundance in January. I remember watching all these genre of films growing up in the 70's and this film is so real it makes you feel it was made in the 70's. It's shot in the same style of that era.

This is going to be a super hot film at Sundance and when it opens in theaters next year. It is a film for adults and will probably have a R rating. If you lived through the 70's you will especially appreciate the humor.

I produced a film with Michael Jai White right before this one called " Blood and Bone" that should also be coming out this year. He's great in both films and is truly a great guy.

If you are going to Sundance make sure you check it out. Check out their website for more info.

Thought for the Day - Be Unrealistic

"I don't think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do
it. I think if you are determined enough and willing to pay the
price, you can get it done."

~ Mike Ditka

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Master Cleanse Day 6 & 7 - Success

I'm smelling food from blocks away. I can't wait to taste fresh orange juice as I ease back into food. I've fasted 7 days now. 7 days down and 2 to go. Victory is in sight.

Movie Review - The Dukes

I was invited last night by my friend Shawnell Cherry to see "The Dukes", a movie she costumed designed. After the movie the writer/director Robert Davi did a Q&A. It was a fun night.

I really enjoyed the movie. It's a indie with heart and a hopeful story. it's an old fashioned movie but I mean that in a good way. It also has echoes of Italian filmmaking. Robert Davi spoke of the influences of Italian filmmaking and
commedia dell"arte ( a form of improvisational theatre started in italy ) on him. The Dukes is a story that leaves you feeling that even when things look the darkest there is always hope.

The movie has received many excellent reviews and won over seven film festivals. Robert Davi did an great job directing this film on his directing debut.

Here is the IMDB review:
The Dukes,(Chazz Palminteri and Robert Davi) a Doo Wop group, were on top of the world at 17, now are struggling for survival in 2008. Their manager (Peter Bogdanovich) is desperately trying to get them work but is met with failure at every turn. Finally pushed to the extreme , they pull a heist only a fool would attempt, which leaves them even more desperate. When all seems lost, they find themselves. Underneath the laughter, "The Dukes" is a film that explores the intricacies of re-defining yourself; not only dealing with lost fame but applies to anyone whoever found themselves at the bottom of the mountain looking up where they once were; and how ,in changing times, to hold onto your true self.
Written by Bob Byers

It's in the theaters right now. Check out the The Dukes website and go see the movie.


Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 2 - Hawai Aloha

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 1 Don't Worry Be Happy

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Personal Ramblings - TV Free Zone

Another public commitment I am making is to not watch any TV until the New Year. The decision came from me reflecting on my birthday on how can I create more time in my life to accomplish more of the things I want to achieve. I must admit I am a news and talk show junkie so I figured it would be hard to give up. I just competed the first week without TV and surprisingly it was easy. Easier than doing my Master Cleanse and I'm enjoying not wasting time watching TV. I may extend it past the New Year. This might become a new habit.
I simultaneously gave up food for 10 days and TV for 2 months. It's a good test of my will power and motivates me to step up in all other areas of my life even further.

Saturday's Motivational Videos

Les Brown

Master Cleanse Day 5 - Success

Okay I made 5 days and it's not getting easier but I'm hanging in. 5 days down and 4 days to go. I will get there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Master Cleanse Day 4 - Success

Another Day down. Mean headaches last night but I'm still going strong. 4 days down and 5 days to go.

Thought for the Day - Why Not Now?

Why?... Why Me ?... Why Not....

Why Not Now?

Exactly Why Not Now?

Why Not You?

If it is to be it's up to me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thought for the Day - Why Not Me?

Yesterday the Question was "Why?"

Today the question is "Why Not Me?" Even better question

Tomorrow's question is Why Not.......

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Master Cleanse Day 3 - Success

Feeling good. Still going strong. 3 days down 6 days to go.

Thought for the Day - Why?


Good Question. Think about it....... Kids ask it all the time. Be curious. Ask why?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Master Cleanse Day 2 - Success

Made it through another day. Not very hungry but had some bad headaches last night from de-toxing from caffeine. A little tired but I'm feeling good. 2 Days down 7 days to go. The food on Thanksgiving is going to taste really great.

Thought for the Day - What's Stopping You?

You are what's stopping you !

If you're not in control someone else is. The most valuable gift you have is your life, so why don't you live your life on your terms versus someone else's.

Larry Agresto

Monday, November 17, 2008

Master Cleanse Day 1 - Success

I made it through Day 1. The lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne powder and water was filling. No hunger pains yet. Success. 1 day down 8 days to go.

Thought for the Day - Failure

'You never fail, until you fail to try"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Public Commitment - Master Cleanse

One of the best ways to achieve something is to make a public commitment. Once you go on the record publicly you want to save face by achieving it.

So I am making a public commitment to do a 9 day Master Cleanse starting tomorrow Monday Nov 17th.

I have done it once successfully and gave up on day 3 on another attempt. It isn't easy to not eat solid foods and just drink lemon water for 9 days. So I will report on my efforts daily and look forward to accomplishing it. I'm doing it only 9 days instead of 10 so I can transition back to eating in time for a light Thanksgiving dinner.

I have decided to do it. It is a must. It is done......

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 2 - Footprints in the Sand

This is dedicated to Aunt Maggie and Cousin Sharon who both dreamed a mighty dream and as Sharon puts it, the "Big Man" above connected the dots and carried us all together. A reunion dreamed up in ireland and made in Heaven.....

Sunday's Eclectic Music Videos # 1 - Do Wop

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Personal Ramblings - It Doesn't Get Better Than This - A Great Birthday

I just had a fantastic birthday. I started the day with a phone call from my cousin Sharon and her family in Germany singing me Happy Birthday. (Thank you Sharon it means the world to me and you are in my heart)

Then I went to a middle school open house with my daughter. Great school, fun time. Then I went and volunteered and packed Christmas boxes for the soldiers with Operation Gratitude. Hundreds of volunteers having fun and working hard for a good cause. I had a great time and I recommend volunteering with them to everyone. (

What a great way to spend a birthday. I plan on making it a ritual I do on all my birthday's in the future.

I came home to Happy Birthday phone calls from relatives and friends from all over the country. I got a call from a best friend in Chicago, Marja who wished me a happy birthday and called me old man (that hurt). I had a long call with my brother which was appreciated. I got a great voice mail from my eight-nine year old mother-in-law. who wished me a happy birthday and ended the call by saying to "Make My Life a Masterpiece".

I also got sent a prayer from a friend Martha who didn't know it was my birthday but made my birthday with her kind words and thought.

I got a bunch of Facebook birthday greetings from friends and acquaintances. I also got a bunch of egreeting cards including one from a long time friend/brother (Ramon). Calls and emails from friends Louis and Glenn.

I also got a lot of birthday emails including from my cousin Tony in England and from all the family in Ireland, and my cousin Maureen and her partner Nick in England who sent me a email card with the song below.

Then I had dinner with my family. And spent time with my loving wife and daddy' little girl. The small pleasures is what life is all about.

So to have such great family, relatives and friends is truly a birthday blessing. And like I said, "It doesn't get better than this".
Every day is a good day, some days are great days. Today was a great day.

So thank you to all my family, relatives and friends. You made my day. And enjoy the song below.....

Happy Birthday

Many, many years ago I came up with this strange idea. Okay very strange idea. I was pretty happy and upbeat all of the time and I felt I needed to be depressed at least one day a year. So I decided that my birthday would be that day and it would be my annual designated depression day, DDD for short. For a few years I would feel depressed on my birthday and would focus on all the things that weren't working in my life. I tried to use it create enough pain on that day to motivate myself to change. Well after a few years I got tired of this and started to reduce it to a designated depression hour, then depression minute and finally decided to eliminate this strange idea . As you can imagine I wasn't fun to be around in those days on my birthday.

Now I choose to celebrate my birthday and focus on all the abundance and blessings in my life. I also decided this year to volunteer on my birthday weekend at Operation Gratitude so I can appreciate even more what I have by helping others....

Saturday's Motivational Videos

Tony Robbins

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thought for the Day - Until....... Part 2


Until.... you lose weight
Unitl.... you get healthy
Unitl.... you find a way
Unitl.... you get financially free
Until.... you learn what you need to learn
Unitl.... you become who you need to become
Until... you succeed

Until. A powerful word. Commit your life to the philosophy of "Until". What do you need to make a Until in your life?

Thanks to Jim Rohn.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thought for the Day - Until


Think about the power of that word. More on Until tomorrow..... Or maybe until tomorrow.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thought for the Day - Light the Flame

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Personal Ramblings - Books

Just had a friend from NY visit. He asked me for a book to take back on the plane. I gave him. 'Make the Impossible Possible".
I previously turned him on to "The Billionaire Who Wasn't", and "The Man Who Stayed Behind". All of them are fascinating books and if you haven't read them I recommend them.

I was writing in my journal today at the Self Realization Gardens and thinking about books and writing. I have had a love affair with reading and books ever since I dropped out of high school at age fifteen. I have read thousands of books over the years in every fields. Reading is clearly one of my passions.

Veteran's Day

Donate to Wounded Warriors Project

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thought for the Day - Daily Agenda

"The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda -
by the daily decisions I make, and the daily disciplines I practice" -
Dr John C. Maxwell

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Warriors... In Their Own Words" - Event

Yesterday evening I attended an event at The Skirball Center, "Warriors.. In Their Own Words". Actor Kelsey Grammer was the host.

Many of the stars of the film and book, the warriors themselves, joined Mr. Grammer, who narrates the film, at the premiere. There was a cocktail reception, a screening of the film, followed by a brief auction, dessert, and book signing.

It was a very moving evening and movie honoring our "Warriors" who volunteered to serve our country. The stories of these soldiers were impressive and inspiring. I had the honor of meeting them and having them sign their stories in the book I purchased.

The Warriors project includes a special DVD and coffee table book that use compelling interviews with soldiers, current and retired, to take people inside the heart, mind, and soul of a warrior. The San Diego-based Lives Out of Combat Foundation ( produced the DVD and book as a way of honoring the men and women who have fought for our country by letting them tell their stories in their own words. The powerful interviews on the DVD and the stunning photos of each warrior make for a somber yet uplifting look into the guys (and gals) behind the guns—the human beings beneath the helmets.

Warriors...In their Own Words—The Book can be purchased for $29.99 from the Lives Out of Combat Website

Warriors...In their Own Words—The Movie can be purchased for $19.99

Or both for $46.99

Proceeds from then DVD and book will go to benefit "Freedom Is Not Free", a group that helps wounded veterans and their families.

I recommend you buy a few and give them as Christmas and holiday gifts.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thought for the Day - Possibility Thinking

"Positive Thinking asks the question "Is it Possible?" Possibility Thinking asks the "get ready to get going" question, "How can I make it happen?"
Rev. Robert H. Schuller

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thought for the Day - Creating an Environment For Success

" How do we create an environment where everyone knows that no matter how great the past was, it will never compete with the future?"
Nancy Ortenberg

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Historic First - Congratulations

A Historic first for America
Congratulations to President Elect Barack Obama
Let's wish him the best because we wish the best for America

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thought for the Day # 2 - Election Day - A Contrarian POV

I know I said my blog wouldn't deal with political topics but today I will make my one and only exception.

If you voted Democrat great
If you voted Republican great

No matter who you voted for or who wins and who loses America can be proud of a lot of things today.

We have a vibrant democracy with two major parties and we have a real choice every four years to pick the person and party we want to represent us unlike countries where there is only one party and no choice like in Cuba and North Korea. We have a system that the winning candidate and party is guaranteed that if they get the most electoral votes they will win unlike countries where even if you win the vote the ruling party can prevent you from taking over like in Zimbabwe.

Economically even in these difficult time the US still leads the world. Any family in America who makes over $50,000 is in the top 1% income bracket globally. We are truly a blessed nation,

We always have been and continue to be the country where everyone wants to come to and the American Dream is as strong and alive as it always has been.

Today we have choices that will offer us either the first African-American president or the first female vice-president. Either choice will be historic.

Today is a day to celebrate our greatness and our democracy. Today is a day to celebrate our right and freedom to vote.

"America is worth fighting for" - John McCain
“There Is No Red State, There Is No Blue State — There Is Only One United States Of America” Barack Obama

While there are great differences between us and between both parties visions I can agree with the underling messages of both quotes above and this is what unites us today as Americans.

Tonight one candidate will make a victory speech and one will make a concession speech. Both will probably find a way to be gracious and call for us to move past our divisions and disagreements and attempt to work together for a better America.

Hopefully that sentiment will carry further than one night.


Thought for the Day - Managing Your Emotional State

It's not what happens but what meaning you give it that determines how you feel or your emotional state. You can choose to find an empowering meaning for anything that happens in your life. Of course it is easy to feel great when you win but the challenge is to feel good when you lose. Sometimes losing can be the best thing that happens to you if you draw the right lessons from it.
So the goal is to find the silver lining and find a way to manage your emotions and empower yourself no matter what life throws at you.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Thought for the Day - Change

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

--Leo Tolstoy