Happy Father’s Day

fathers-dayEvery year on Father’s day I think about my dad who has passed away and my son who also passed away.

To my dad, he wasn’t the greatest guy or dad. But he worked very hard and he taught me all that I know about construction. He taught me to work very hard and do your best for the customer. He taught me to have manners and be respectful of my elders. And to stick by your family, even when it’s impossible and hard to deal with.

To my son, he died before he was born to me. 7 months was never enough. Not getting to hold him or see him was the worst part. But knowing he existed has carried me 12 years without him. I loved him the moment I knew he was alive. And I talked to him and sang to him a lot. I prayed with him and for him. I dreamed about him, I wanted him, I love him. He is my son. And I miss him everyday. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and what he could be now. It took me 10 years to move on with my life and 2 more years to really start dating again. It’s because of him I’m finding my happiness again. I want to live the best life I can while God allows me to stay.

I hope everyone has a great Father’s day. You know it’s not about getting dad a present or cooking out on the grill for him. It’s telling him today how much you appreciate him. All that he is, all he has taught you, all he has done in his life. That’s what all dads really want to hear on Father’s Day.

I will be going to Paris for the next week on business. I blackout all social media while I’m gone. I will talk to you all soon. God loves you and I love ya’ll too!

Updates

Latest-Updates  Life as I know it changed a few months ago. I had business opportunities in Las Vegas, Nevada a few times in my career but nothing had ever panned out. I went to Las Vegas to have surgery and ended up having to have a second surgery earlier this year. While I was there for recovery I made some new business contacts and began to start figuring out how to actually do commercial investment in this fast paced city. What I found out is, you really do have to know someone that knows someone.

Through the grace of God I found a really good business mentor that began to show me the ropes and start to introduce me around. I began looking at buildings or business investments into casinos and finally found out how things go. You can join in the casino investment groups for a price, but your percentage of return is very minimal. Less than .5% yield. That’s not worth my time. My 2 investment companies have worked too hard to have such a bad back swing on investments. So I kept looking.

We decided to make a bid on a casino in Reno, Nevada. For 2 months I went back and forth trying to make the deal happen. And finally we got it! I called my girlfriend right away and she was so excited for me. It’s a casino/hotel/spa and we are going to gut each section one by one to make it into a luxury hotel. This will be my biggest project yet. I can’t wait to see how things turn out. I really hope things go smoothly but God has taught me many times that life happens after you make your plans. I pray to make it through with grace and a sense of humor at least.

The other casino project I managed to get myself into is on the Strip. It is almost completed with the exterior. I own only 5% of that project after 3 weeks of daily negotiations but once it is up and going, it will be very lucrative. 5% of daily intake will add up quickly and I will be able to justify to my Board of Directors the investment I had to explain over and over. In owning less than 5% in a casino I didn’t have to get a gaming license, but I got one anyway because I plan to turn my profits into additional percentages over the long term agreement. It’s all so confusing and it honestly gives me a headache trying to keep track of things. In total we have over 20 projects currently going strong and it keeps me on the phone, in meetings, and traveling around the country a lot.

I adopted a beautiful cat which I named Penelope. She is a sweetheart and very cuddly. Unless she’s ripping up paper, newspaper, curtains, or anything that she finds fun to tear up. I love her and she is a great addition into my life. There is also another addition but I will get into that later. That’s a story on its own which I will be posting about soon.

I am enjoying the weather here in Vegas. It has gotten really hot over the past few days and will be boiling hot all next week. I will be going to Paris, France for a week. I have meetings there until 3pm each day and then we will go sightseeing and enjoy the local cuisine, art, and anything else we want to experience. I have looked forward to this trip for months. I am excited to share all that I know and be able to speak French fluently again and work on keeping my dialect on point. I love Paris. I have lived there for a year when I was in my 20s and enjoyed everything about it. I have rented out an apartment overlooking downtown for privacy with a separate elevator and back entrance so we may come and go as we please without having to deal with anyone else that lives in the building. It has been fully stocked for my arrival and will have all of my favorite foods stocked the day before we arrive.  I usually get into town and crash. Taking a nap after an 8 hour flight in from New York is just what you need to begin the jetlag cure. And the time different doesn’t help either.

My broken foot finally healed. I ended up breaking it in 3 places across the bottom. Let me tell you that is a pain that is a reminder on every step. I had a cast, then a boot, then a brace. All of which are off. I find myself favoring it a little bit when I walk instead of trusting that it is healed. I want to start jogging again but I have been a little leary of that. We have been walking in the mornings and that is going well. I like to start my day with physical activity. Of all kinds 😉

I have found some really great books lately. I miss reading I have not had the time to dive into a good book. I have a pile in my library that I need to start reading someday. If I wasn’t flying us overseas that would be a great time to at least get one going. Maybe when I get back home I will find the time.

I plan to get home from Paris and start traveling again. I need to check in with work stuff and make sure things are going well. I had just purchased a house in Oklahoma and had barely begun living in it when Las Vegas came up. I’m most likely going to sell it and continue living here, against my Board of Directors wishes. They prefer I come back to Chicago and keep business going. I would rather stay here and get new business going. It’s been a struggle.

My life has finally begun to make sense and I pray to God everyday that peace remains. I am so thankful for my life and am very happy to have my girlfriend to share it with me. We get along so easily. We find ourselves cracking up laughing so many times. She really is a joy in my life and I’m so blessed to know her. She really has the biggest heart of any woman I know. So kind and loving. And so easy to get along with. I love that about her. I love everything about her.

I am going to find more time for fun and less time for work. My family has been encouraging me to slow down. My friends are wanting to see me more. And I really do need to find a balance. Work will never fulfill me completely. I know God gives me what I can handle, but there are days I feel overwhelmed with decisions, emails, and a to do list that never stops. We are hiring more people to help out and I am currently looking for an office space in Las Vegas.

It’s been a great time this year for me. I look forward to whatever happens the rest of this year. I thank God for everything that has changed. I know I work for it and earn all of these amazing things but I am humbled by all that I have. I am so excited for my future!

Thank you for all coming here. I appreciate your time. Have a great night!

Exciting News and a big Announcement

exciting-news  There has been a lot going on in my life since January. I haven’t really had the time to talk about it all and I was also working on a lot of new and fun projects. I’m going to try to update as much as I can over the weekend and share some incredible books I’ve been reading. I’m so happy you are all coming back into my blog. I see the comments and will get time to respond soon. Thanks for being here. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Rowboat Book Club Book #29

Hey guys! This month we will be reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Plot summary

The poorly-run Manor Farm near Willingdon, England, is ripened for rebellion from its animal populace by neglect at the hands of the irresponsible and alcoholic farmer Mr. Jones. One night, the exalted boar Old Major organizes a meeting, at which he calls for the overthrow of humans and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called “Beasts of England“. When Old Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and stage a revolt, driving Mr. Jones off the farm and renaming the property “Animal Farm”. They adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, “All animals are equal”. The decree is painted in large letters on one side of the barn. Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health. Following an unsuccessful attempt by Mr. Jones and his associates to retake the farm (later dubbed the “Battle of the Cowshed”), Snowball announces his plans to modernize the farm by building a windmill. Napoleon argues against this idea and matters come to head which culminates with his dogs chase Snowball away and he declaring himself leader.

Napoleon enacts changes to the governance structure of the farm, replacing meetings with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer, Napoleon claims credit for the windmill idea, saying that Snowball actually was only trying to win animals to his side. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball is trying to sabotage their project, and begin to purge the farm of animals Napoleon accuses of consorting with his old rival. When some animals recall the Battle of the Cowshed, Napoleon (who was nowhere to be found during the battle) gradually smears Snowball to the point of saying he as a collaborator of Mr. Jones, even dismissing the fact that Snowball was given an award of courage while falsely representing himself as the main hero of the battle. “Beasts of England” is replaced with an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. Many animals who later claim to be helping Snowball in plots are executed by Napoleon’s dogs, which troubles the rest of the animals. Despite their hardships, the animals are easily placated by Napoleons retort that they are better off than they were under Mr. Jones, as well as by the sheeps’ chant of “four legs good, two legs bad”.

Mr. Frederick, a neighbouring farmer, attacks the farm, using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Although the animals win the battle, they do so at great cost, as many, including Boxer the workhorse, are wounded. Although he recovers from this, Boxer eventually collapses while working on the windmill (being almost 12 years old at that point). Boxer is taken away in a knacker‘s van, but Squealer quickly assures the animals that the van had been purchased from the knacker by an animal hospital and that the previous owner’s signboard had not been repainted. Squealer subsequently reports Boxer’s death and martyrizes him with a festival the following day. However, the truth is that Napoleon had engineered the sale of Boxer to the knacker, allowing Napoleon and his inner circle to acquire money to buy whisky for themselves.

Years pass, the windmill is rebuilt, and another windmill is constructed, which makes the farm a good amount of income. However, the ideals which Snowball discussed, including stalls with electric lighting, heating, and running water, are forgotten, with Napoleon advocating that the happiest animals live simple lives. In addition to Boxer, many of the animals who participated in the rebellion are dead or old. Mr. Jones, having moved away after giving up on reclaiming his farm, has also died. The pigs start to resemble humans, as they walk upright, carry whips, drink alcohol and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to just one phrase: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” and the maxim “Four legs good, two legs bad.” is changed to “Four legs good, two legs better.” Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name “The Manor Farm”. The men and pigs start playing cards, flattering and praising each other while cheating at the game. Both Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington, one of the farmers, play the Ace of Spades at the same time and both sides begin fighting loudly over who cheated first. When the animals outside look at the pigs and men, they can no longer distinguish between the two.

Rowboat Book Club Book #7

This is a beautiful book. Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir. I love it already!

The Zahir is a 2005 novel by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. As in an earlier book, The Alchemist, The Zahir is about a pilgrimage. The book touches on themes of love, loss and obsession.

The Zahir was written in Coelho’s native language, Portuguese, and it has been translated into 44 languages. The book was first published in Iran, in Persian translation, by Caravan publishing. Iran has never signed any international copyright agreements. By being published first in Iran, the book falls under the national copyright law of Iran. This copyright measure created an unusual situation where a book is first published in a language other than the author’s native language. However, the book was banned in Iran a few months after its publication, during the 18th Tehran International Book Fair.[1]

Intended as a work of fiction, the story has strong autobiographical features, which led to an attack on the book’s shallow egotism in the English press.[2]

Plot

The Zahir means ‘the obvious’ or ‘conspicuous’ in Arabic. The story revolves around the life of the narrator, a bestselling novelist, and in particular his search for his missing wife, Esther. He enjoys all the privileges that money and celebrity bring. He is suspected of foul play by both the police and the press, who suspect that he may have had a role in the inexplicable disappearance of his wife from their Paris home.

As a result of this disappearance, the protagonist is forced to re-examine his own life as well as his marriage. The narrator is unable to figure out what led to Esther’s disappearance. Was she abducted or had she abandoned the marriage? He encounters Mikhail, one of Esther’s friends, during a book launch. He learns from Mikhail that Esther, who had been a war correspondent against the wishes of her husband (the protagonist), had left in a search for peace, as she had trouble living with her husband. The author eventually realizes that in order to find Esther he must first find his own self. Mikhail introduces him to his own beliefs and customs, his mission of spreading love by holding sessions in restaurants and meeting homeless people living in the streets. He tells the narrator about the voices he hears, and his beliefs related to them. The narrator, who only too frequently falls in love with women, consults with his current lover, Marie, about his encounters with Mikhail. She warns him that Mikhail could be an epileptic. However, she also advises him to search for the Zahir as is his desire, even though she would prefer him to stay with her.

The narrator eventually decides to go in search of his Zahir. As it was Esther who had initially brought Mikhail from Kazakhstan to France, the protagonist suspects that she may in fact be in Kazakhstan. At first, he is curious about what made Esther leave, but later he realizes that troubles in her relationship with her husband may have been a major reason. As he discovers, she was interested in getting to know herself through the making of carpets. Eventually the narrator meets his Zahir and the outcome of this meeting constitutes the climax of the book. Through the narrator’s journey from Paris to Kazakhstan, Coelho explores the various meanings of love and life.

In a recurring theme in the book, Coelho[3] compares marriage with a set of railway tracks which stay together forever but fail to come any closer. The novel is a journey from a stagnant marriage and love to the realization of unseen but ever increasing attraction between two souls.

#Wordhug

#Wordhug

A #Wordhug is a way to show your love to your friends on Twitter by hashtagging #Wordhug and saying something nice, using 140 characters. I used to do #Wordhug Wednesday. I think it’s time to start that up again. Middle of the week we all need a little extra, don’t we?

Spread the love, say something nice, lift ‘em up! The more you share love, the better our world and your life will be. Don’t hold back to the people that are there for you every day. Don’t ever lose the chance to say thank you, I see you, you are important to me.

Want to try it out now? Send me a #Wordhug, my twitter name is @NotBatmanYet