I had the pleasure of going to another Husky football game yesterday. It was a beautiful fall day here in Seattle, a little cold, but blue skies, sunshine, and changing leaves surrounded us. We enjoyed an afternoon tailgating and laughing with friends before making our way into the stadium. Outside of our gate, Washington's current governor, Christine Gregoire (also a UW graduate, holds the same degree as me, actually), was shaking hands and working the crowd. I had the opportunity to greet her and shake her hand before entering the staduim and watching the Huskies get their pride handed to them by Notre Dame. Ugh, if only we weren't currently in pursuit of the perfectly bad season this year! (Seriously, could we just win one game this year?!)
This afternoon, Lennie and I ran errends and then enjoyed lunch at Bahama Breeze in Tukwila. As we were finishing up our meal, the waiter pointed to a table across the section and said "Do you know Dino Rossi, you know, the guy who's running for governor? Well, there he is!" Yep, we had lunch in the presence of Dino Rossi, the challenger in the 2008 Washington gubernatorial race. So, I guess you could say that I watched the Husky game yesterday with Gregoire, and had lunch with Rossi today. How political of me! :-) Heh heh.
There are days in your life that you care to never repeat. Some days are really great, full of fun, laughter, and memories, and I love to repeat those memories and experiences over and over again. Other days, like yesterday, I'd care not to repeat, as it was filled with stress, anxiety, and a little bit of uncertainty. None of the experiences were unsurmountable, and everyone has their health, etc. However, I just wouldn't care to repeat the day. I won't go into the details of what transpired yesterday, but I will tell you that the uncertain financial times ripping across the country have hit close to home.
One of the things that I learned very quickly yesterday was the power of friendship and family. I'm very grateful to have such a wonderful network of supportive people in our lives, and I will be forever indebted to each and every one of you for your support and insights. "This too shall pass" and it has been made immensely easier because of the people in our lives. Thank you.
Tonight, I discovered the quickest way to get a phone solicitor off of the phone. Seems that I had the opportunity to field a call from a nice call center man soliciting funds for a charity that I had vaguely heard of. I patiently listened to his spiel, and when he said "can I send you a package with a receipt for the IRS, a thank you letter, and an envelope to return your donation?"
I promptly replied, "Oh, I can't donate right now, I just got laidoff." He replied "Oh, that's too bad." and then I heard a click. End of phone conversation. Yep, within ten seconds of me saying I was laidoff (don't worry readers, I wasn't actually laidoff), he had hung up on me.
Meanwhile, at the dinner table, Lennie almost broke his neck as he snapped his head to look at me dropping this alleged "bomb" to a complete stranger before I told him... it was comical, really. After I reassured him that I wasn't laidoff, we had a good laugh about it.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the economy (as many people have) and how to weather the proverbial storm of the stock market and everything else. Networking has constantly been on my mind lately. The value of "paying it forward" within your network cannot be underestimated, really.
One of the things that I've learned over my career (and my life, really) is that working your network of friends, family, and contacts is one of the most important things that you can do. Even if you only have a few friends, you're connected to a powerful force that can help you get jobs, save money on projects, or simply get a great person to do a project for you. It's amazing, really, what a good word can do for you.
I like working my network, and I like giving great referrals. It's a pleasure to connect my friends and family with people that I know and trust. So, if you need a great mechanic in the Bellevue area, I know one. Want to plan a wedding or a party with a spunky lady? Yep, I know a great wedding planner (she didn't do my wedding, but I would have used her if I had known her then!). Want an energetic event planner who will watch all of the details? I know one of those too!
Or perhaps you need to outsource a writing project. Let me tell you, my friend and colleague will write butt-kicking copy for you any day of the week. You gotta check him out... he's never written bad copy for me, seriously.
In down economic times, it's more important than ever that we work our networks and help people out. Most the links that I provided above were not solicited, I just want to make sure that you know that I will send out referrals within my network any time... what can you do to help people out too? How can you get people in your network connected today?
Two weeks ago, we finally got a "bumper crop" of tomoatoes, filling one medium sized bowl to the brim. Yum!
Today, Lennie and I decided to harvest all of our tomatoes and put the condo garden to rest for the year. Two large black garbage bags later, we cleared out all of the tomato plants and took all of the tomatoes off of the vine... a lot of tomatoes, that is. We now have two grocery bags full of red and green tomatoes to enjoy. I'm hopeful that the green ones will ripen on our counter. In the meantime, we may need a recipe for fried green tomatoes -- anyone have a good one out there?! :-)
I'm pleased to report that I just received my copy of Telecom Reseller, and I am now a published author. The article that I penned on the value of purchasing software products that are certified for your network hardware. If you happen to come across a copy of the latest edition, check me out just above the fold on section B. :-)