Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Some Uplifting News

I returned home today to an unexpected package from Italy: a beautiful black and white photo from Saverio, the only man on the trip to Kabul. The photo is beautiful and I'm touched. Be sure to visit his site and see his perceptions of the trip.

I also made my first post on the pay-to-blog site I had previously mentioned. The blog is www.TravGuides.com. Right now, the article (about Afghanistan - I know, you're all probably tired about my trip to Afghanistan!) is on the front page and I imagine it will be moved to the Afghanistan tab this week. So, stay tuned and I'll post updates (of course I will!) when I've contributed a new story.

Unlike the AC site I contribute to, my pay is known (which I like) and not based on page viewer history (Let me clarify, the wage I'm offered for a new article is based on how many page views I had on my LAST article and visitors to my home page. That's why I'm constantly emailing you all with my stories). A real positive is that I won't be writing with key word density for the blog- which I feel, makes me sound like an idiot. I'm a writer, a creative mind - I want a vast array of words vs. repeating the same word or phrase over and over again. But, I do still plan to contribute to AC, it's a decent site, but most of my travel (I hope) will end up on www.TravGuides.com.

As always, thanks for your support!

When's the Last Time You Really Said "Thank You?"

I posted last week about saying thanks to our troops. Today, I'm wondering how often we say "thank you" to those who come into our lives and stir something in us. Those people who inspire, frustrate, push us to our limits yet make us laugh and enjoy life. I know I don't say it enough and usually think of saying it when it's too late.

Today, I learned a friend lost his battle with cancer. Gary took me under his wing while in Death Valley and taught me the basics of corporate sales. I remember my first week working in the sales department and how everything seemed upside down. Shep and Nan, the two sales managers in the office, were also very helpful. But Gary was the "boss of us all," at least on the organizational chart :)

He taught me how to write kick-ass letters and I always loved how he signed his faxes, "enjoy your day." I hijacked that little phrase from him and have been using it in many of my emails since then. He taught me how to infuse laughter into the workplace - he had a wicked sense of humor. He always told me the Feds were after him and that's how he ended up in Death Valley. Well one day, the Feds DID show up. They were a little obvious, it was summer in Death Valley (dry heat or not, it's damn hot!) and they were dressed in dark suites and shades. But they weren't looking for him, they were after a dozen or so illegal immigrants working in housekeeping and the kitchen.

And, I want my current and previous employer to know that Gary is the one who taught me how to "organize" my work area. His office was ALWAYS stacked with piles of paper. It was rare to see the top of his desk. Each time I went into his office with more "papers," I would look around, unsure where to place them. He would see my anguish and looking around with me, he'd sigh. The sigh indicate, "yeah, I know. But what can I do?" In all my annalness, the desktop is where I relax and revel in clutter.

Gary, you're missed already. Your influence played a bit in forming the person I am today.