Jason Alba [who everyone that reads here should already know ;-)], founder and CEO of JibberJobber [and still no relation to Jessica] got tagged in a silly Internet game that has been going around for quite some time. Alex C. Rudloff, cofounder of Emurse.com, is the one who tagged Jason, so I guess I should ‘thank’ him as well 🙂 for helping give me the privilege of writing a blog post on Dec 20th with only 4 shopping days left till Christmas!
Now all I have to do if figure out 5 lucky bloggers who I think won’t mind typing their secrets in front of the whole world… THAT should be easy…LOL. OK, I know I sound frustrated, but it isn’t because I don’t like the game, I just can’t figure out what the heck to write. 5 things that people don’t know about me from my blog? And make it interesting? Geeesch, I don’t think I can come up with three things, heck two things… But in the spirit of the game, I’ll give it a try.
1) I graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1980. Many people know that; however here is something most don’t know. Unlike my classmates, when I graduated I became a civilian because during my pre-com physical they discovered I had a kidney stone. Because I had gotten into the academy on a medical waiver after having a kidney stone removed, this second stone made a ‘history’ of stones and they determined me NPQ. So after half a million dollars spent educating me (some would say they didn’t do a very good job) the government decided that kidney stones are too dangerous a condition to allow me to serve. Your government and tax dollars at work!
2) I married my high school sweetheart shortly after graduating. After losing my first business (I was an entrepreneur at age 24) I got started in the restaurant business with my wife’s cousin. He also happened to be a professional gambler, and not the good kind that you see on TV today. The kind who ran big card games, football betting in the 5 figures, and the kind with a ‘enforcement’ crew who collected money for him. Never played in any games with him, but the bus boy at our restaurant was a 50 year old guy, 6′ 2″ 220 lbs named Frank, who had a crooked nose and had been with Lenny for 20 years…. you figure that out.
3) I won money in a card game and purchased my first Rottie – Thor, from a friend’s mom who was a backyard breeder. Didn’t get papers, didn’t get vaccine records, didn’t get squat except him. I was young and stupid and didn’t know any better. Thor got myocardial parvo and spent 7 days in emergency doggie care, but pulled through. Thor was a great dog. When I was unceremoniously informed by a lawyer one day 2 and 3/4 years after getting hitched that I should not go home and that my wife was divorcing me – Thor, my clothes, my TV, and my grand mother’s paintings were all that I took with me. (BTW Jules and I are expecting… our new Rottie is due to arrive in the first week of March.)
4) Julie, my wife of almost 22 years (March 2nd) and I met while we were in training at the Pizza Hut regional training center in Atlanta, Marietta to be exact. It was the most fun that either of us ever had at work. They put us up at the Marriot on Windy Hill Road and gave us $17 per day for food. Back then $17 was a LOT of money…LOL. Heck 32 ounce beers were only $1.90 in the bar. It was a vacation for us. If you know anything about the restaurant business, you would know that working from 8 to 5 everyday in a classroom, still getting your regular paycheck and spending money for food could be described as Heaven. We had lunch nearly every day in a little deli not far from the classroom. We pulled their picnic table in the parking lot so we could be in the sun and avoid some of the early spring chill. We usually had wine with lunch. 😉 Class was 2 weeks long and had about 35 people in it, some who had been with Pizza Hut for 10 years or more, and there were people at all levels. I was an assistant manager, but we had GMs, area supervisors and even and RVP designate. We had tests every day and a final exam on the last day. I was the class ‘valedictorian’ and Jules had the second highest grades. The RVP was third. I missed two questions out of all testing. At the time, it was the highest cumulative score that anyone had ever made. I had been with Pizza Hut for 3 weeks when I went to the class.
5) The recession of 2001 is when my partner decided to close down our company, UTA Business Systems, which was a major supplier of point of sale systems to the delivery industry. I had become partners with him because I needed an investor to take my company to the next level. I had started the company back in 1988 when I was working for a regional restaurant company while evaluating POS for our delivery stores, decided that there was nothing acceptable and that I could design something better. I worked for the restaurant company while at the same time I worked on the delivery software/hardware business (in my spare time 😉 ) It was devastating when the company closed, and a good friend of mine and I tried to buy the software for $2MM, but my ex-partner wouldn’t sell…. (asshole). So I ended up in the job search and finally becoming a recruiter. That part of the story is related in my post here which I wrote for Jason’s blog carnival. What most people don’t know is that I spent the next 9 months away from my family living in Atlanta by myself… and was just starting my second week of work when 9-11 happened. My family lived less than 10 miles from the Pentagon and I had worked in an office less than 2 miles from there. I had many friends who worked there as well as having been at the academy at the same time as the pilot of the plane that hit the Pentagon. It was a lonely time.
Ok, so now if you’ve gotten this far without falling asleep, here is where I’m supposed to tag some other folks. I don’t know anyone else besides Jason who has been tagged so I can’t point you to any of their blogs. But here is a list of folks that I’d like to learn more about. Some I know a little, some not very well at all, but I think they are interesting people none-the-less.
Liz Strauss – an A list blogger who has been at it for so long that she may not have an secrets left to tell… but I thought I would challenge her. She was so helpful in helping get the word out on my Breast Cancer Public Service blog post .
That’s it for now. Hopefully these guys will write some entertaining stuff. I’m sure that they understand that they can take all the time they like during the holiday season to get their posts done. 🙂