Well, we’re venturing into new territory here.
One of the regular readers and posters here is a friend of mine from church named John. Even though we’ve been at the same church for a number of years, I’ve gotten to know John and his wife better in the past few months, as he has become an avid and vocal supporter of The Dailies, and his encouragement has meant the world to us, in more ways then one. I like him a lot, and its not for the obvious reasons. He’s a straight shooter, and extremely low key, which may mean more to you as you read about where his life’s journey has taken him.
Those of you hoping that the title, 100 things – JC, represents the Savior might be disappointed, but that would be a very interesting read.
#45: Sometimes I got really frustrated when the pharisees would approach me during meal time. I mean, perfection is a falafel and red wine, back off man!
#67: Judas had a twitch that really weirded me out. I created it and all, but still.
Without any further ado, I surrender the microphone and hit copy and paste.
1. I sing through big Peavey speakers in my house with the door open hoping that some record producer walking by will discover me. I have been doing this for years. The interesting thing is that I now live in a place where someone in the recording industry could actually walk by.
2. I love to sing. It is probably the thing that I think I am best at…yet afraid to find out I’m not.
3. I don’t have the patience for learning how to play an instrument. I own a piano, a bass guitar, an electric guitar…they sit around like idle exercise equipment. I just like to sing.
4. I was a “jock” in school. I played football, hockey and ran track. I earned 10 letters and captained three teams.
5. I was the fastest white kid in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1969.
6. I once scored four goals against an arch-rival in a Minnesota State Hockey Tournament regional play-off game. It also happened to be the school of my ex-girlfriend.
7. I always had a girlfriend. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t dating or married.
8. I have been married for 22 years. Five years the first time, five years the second time, and 12 years…and counting…currently. I am not proud of the first two facts; I credit the Lord for the third.
9. My 9-year-old daughters are not yet aware of #8. I will tell them some day. I am so worried that they will be disappointed in me that I can’t imagine this conversation actually happening.
10. When my wife sings…. I almost always start to cry.
11. My twin 9-year old daughters know all the lyrics to the Broadway play “Wicked”. They are marvelous singers. When they sing…it makes me cry.
12. When Erica sings “Loved” …I…well, you get the picture.
13. My father was the baritone soloist in our church growing up. He loved to sing. He had a beautiful voice. He was also the most honest man I ever knew. I think he was physically and emotionally incapable of telling a lie.
14. My dad was a real character. He loved people and he loved being the center of attention. His life provided great material for the memorial I did for him when he passed away in October 2000. I have done hundreds of presentations in my life. This was my best.
15. My mom’s father was the first orthodontist in Minneapolis. He had to go to Berlin to do his orthodontic residency, as there was no such thing in the U.S. at that time. He put braces on Kaiser Wilhelm’s children. He put braces on me when I was 13.
16. I got hit in the face with a baseball when I was 13. I had to literally pull the inside of my mouth away from the tangled mess it made with my braces.
17. I played hockey through college and never lost a tooth.
18. My mom was an alcoholic when I was growing up. She was totally functional and never abusive, just depressed…clinically, as it turns out.
19. Mom got sober during my senior high school years…and never again took a drink. I can only hope to have that kind of courage if I need to call on it.
20. Praying for my mom to get sober was probably the closest I got to God in my early years. God allowed me to be with her when she died in our house. I literally held her in my arms when she took her last breath. It was an unbelievable blessing for me. I am still afraid of dying, but I’m no longer afraid of death.
21. My wife, by the way she lives her faith, showed me the way to the Lord.
22. I met my wife while she was a financial analyst and I was the Marketing Director at the Dial Corporation in Phoenix.
23. I worked for Johnson & Johnson for ten years. I was brand manager for Carefree Panty Shields and o.b. Tampons. I know more about menstrual cycles than most women.
24. Over nearly 30 years of my marketing career, I have managed the following brands: Carefree Panty Shields, o.b. Tampons, Stayfree Maxi-Pads, Serenity Incontinence Pads, Parson’s Ammonia, Sno Bol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Brillo, Starburst Fruit Chew, Skittles, VO2 Max Energy Bars, Combos, Kudos, Pedigree Dog Food, Whiskas Cat Food, Sheba, Cesar, DentaBone.
25. Skittles is a $300 million annual business in the U.S. Pedigree is over $1 Billion.
26. I was running the Skittles brand when we created the “Rainbow” campaign in 1996. One of the first actors we hired for a :30-second spot. was Ron Howard’s dad.
27. I don’t sing in the shower. I actually do some of my best thinking in the shower. Some of my most creative ideas came to me while wasting gallons and gallons of water!
28. I got divorced for the first time in 1981 when I found out my wife had been having an affair with a guy she worked with.. They are still married to this day. After a few cocktails, he still hits on all of her friends.
29. I lost the pinky finger on my right hand while going over a 6-foot jump on water-skis when I was 16. It got caught in the rope handle and was pulled completely off. We didn’t look for it.
30. When adults notice I am missing my little finger they rarely say anything. Children always stare at it, then ask what happened. I love that about kids.
31. My brother is the nicest person I know. My father-in-law may actually be even nicer.
32. In my circle of acquaintances, there is a direct correlation between love of music and love of God.
33. I thought Ricky Nelson was the coolest guy on earth. I bought every Ricky Nelson album I could get my hands on. I still know all the words to “Travelin’ Man”, “Lonesome Town”, and “Teenage Idol”. I never missed an episode of “Ozzie and Harriet”.
34. I was 33 when Rick Nelson’s plane crashed and he died. I heard it on the radio and wept like a baby. Before then, I had always thought I would meet him some day. Given my career and associations with advertising agencies and living in L.A., had he lived…I probably would have.
35. My musical tastes are directly linked to great melodies and vocalists.. As a result, my tastes have jumped all over the place over the years. My favorite artists over time: Rick Nelson, (interestingly, not Elvis), Michael McDonald (Doobie Bros.),Chuck Negron (3 Dog Night), Jeffrey Osbourne, James Ingram, Luther Vandross, Kenny Rankin, Steve Perry (Journey), Kenny Rogers, Colin Raye, Steve Wariner, Leroy Parnell, Vince Gill, Phil Vassar, Michael English, Steven Curtis Chapman. The Dailies.
36. Ok, I left one out because I thought the music snobs among you might laugh at me…Michael Bolton
37. …and Barry Manilow..
38. My favorite sandwich is peanut butter and honey.
39. I drink Mt. Dew for breakfast.
40. We have a tortoise. She is still growing, but will outlive me and grow to be 60 pounds or so. Every day I lift her out of her little house and take her over to her pen on the grass so she can graze. I hold her out in front of me with her nose pointing forward. I wonder if she thinks she’s flying.
41. I scored 1200 on my SAT’s in 1969. My math and verbal were the same.
42. I taught math in a private school in Maine right after college. I also managed the hockey arena. I sharpened skates and ran the Zamboni.
43. Driving the Zamboni was really cool.
44. After several beers one night, I actually took the position with several friends of mine that I might be one of the best all-around athletes in the world. If you just grabbed people and didn’t give them time to practice, over the course of, say, 50 events, I would rack up more points than anyone else, because I am competent to excellent at every sport from horseshoes to ping-pong, water skiing to snow skiing, archery to running, ice-skating to swimming, baseball to high-jumping, skeet and trap shooting to badminton. Part of me actually believed it….
45. Over my career, I have spent almost $750 million in national advertising campaigns.
46. I once produced a :30-second ad for Starburst Fruit Chews that cost over $1 million…and only ran once.
47. I played on a NCAA Div. 3 hockey team that was ranked #1 in the country.
48. To this day, I have a recurring dream about having a final test in college for a class that I somehow managed not-to-go-to all semester.
49. I dream a lot more now that I’m not working. I must be catching up on lost sleep. I easily sleep 8-9 hours a night now, after 30 years of 6 hours or less a night.
50. Sleeping next to my wife every night is one of the great pleasures of life.
51. God must see each of us like I see my girls at night when they are asleep. That is the only explanation I have for His grace.
52. God knew what he was doing when he created the faithful dog. My first golden retriever kept me sane after my second divorce. I don’t know what I would have done without her. To this day when I think about her I tear up.
53. My wife Julie is the best thing that ever happened to me.
54. Julie has Multiple Sclerosis. She found out years ago when she was running in the desert one day. Her legs just stopped working. She is now 46 and is pretty much symptom-free. I worry about it more than she does. She trusts the Lord so much. It makes me feel selfish that I don’t.
55. Over the past 10 years I have learned how to receive feedback gracefully. While I always struggle with it, I try to find the truth in it that will make me better.
56. Apparently my willingness to accept feedback must be visible…like an aura…because everyone seems very comfortable giving it to me.
57. I’m really good at fixing things around the house. I have a curiosity about how things work. I love to take things apart. More often than not, I can find out what’s wrong in the process. Computers are the exception to this rule.
58. I am really good at finding things around the house. My daughters and wife don’t even bother looking any more…they just call me. Before that, the first place I always looked was where they had already searched. My secret is that the missing item is almost always in the open, just underneath, behind, or in other stuff. The exception to this rule is a retainer.
59. “What It Is” deserves to be successful.
60. It bugs me when politicians say…”the people have voted and they are against the war” or against the fill in the blank. Is that really an argument for leadership to change course? The average citizen isn’t capable or motivated to determine the correct strategies and tactical decisions for the country any more than the average football fan should make the decision to go for it on 4th and 1. We always vote for what is best for us with little regard for what is best for the country… and fans always vote to go for it on 4th and 1. Citizens have the power to elect leaders. Hopefully we elect good ones. We should let the leaders do their jobs and not spend all of our time second-guessing every decision.
61. Living in a Democracy is not always easy.
62. With very good grades and decent SAT scores (way back in the day when they really meant something, which was before Mike’s day when they really meant something) I got into a highly selective college in the northeast. It was a wonderful and broadening experience for a kid from St. Paul, Minnesota where I only knew one black person and no Jewish people.
63. My roommate freshmen year was a Jew from Manhattan who smoked Kool’s.
64. I nearly flunked a class freshmen year. Public school in Minnesota did not prepare me for the academic rigors of a highly selective northeastern liberal arts college. Where were the multiple-choice questions? What’s a blue book?
65. Despite my mediocre grades in college, I was still accepted into one of the top business schools (Northwestern) in the country. Thank you Bowdoin.
66. I agree with Mike’s point about college. I was not prepared nor interested in the learning experience when I was 18. At 54 years old…I am now ready!
67. I often find myself on the opposite side of the argument with the intelligentsia.(see #68, #70, #72)
68. The popular sport these days after beating up the President about Iraq, is piling on Big Business. Well, I worked in Big Business and I am here to tell you that there is no sinister conspiracy amongst companies to keep medical cures out of the market so we can keep making money on people’s illnesses., etc. I am not going to tell you that I think every company is ethical. Making profit and meeting Wall Streets expectations are serious challenges and does not always make CEO’s et al the most altruistic people on the planet. But big companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, GE, Ford, etc. are trying to do the right thing. I firmly believe that.
69. Meeting Wall Street and shareholder expectations and trying to do the “right thing” do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.
70. The free-enterprise system works if you leave it alone. If you meddle with it, it throws it out of balance. We may not like high gas prices, for example, but legislating gas prices is not the answer. If fuel gets expensive enough, some entrepreneur will invent an alternative energy source or mode of transportation that will steal the market away and make him/her a multi-billionaire. It may not happen fast enough for our liking, but it will happen. It always has.
71. It is really tempting to meddle when things aren’t going well.
72. I may be one of the few people who actually think, in principle, we are doing the right thing in Iraq..
73. Iran is a potentially much bigger issue than Iraq.
74. I think “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is the funniest show on TV. Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie make me laugh until it hurts. I watch it with my daughters and they laugh as hard as I do.
75. I love to run fast.
76. My knees don’t like it when I run fast
77. I can’t believe I have owned a Porsche for almost 3 years and have yet to drive it over 100MPH.
78. The lease on my Porsche is up in June.
79. The house I live in was once owned by: Kenny Rogers and before him, Cindy Williams (Laverne and Shirley) and Bill Hudson. It is quite likely that Kate Hudson actually slept in this house.
80. We bought the home from Howie Mandel.
81. Howie Mandel’s wife could not tell us how to operate the oven…she had never used it.
82. Howie Mandel actually shook my hand…no knuckle punch for me.
83. We paid close to asking price for the home (see #81).
84. I have a TiVo and don’t use it.
85. I love a good margarita.
86. I gave up drinking for Lent…and actually don’t miss it that much.
87. Since Ash Wednesday, my voice has been the clearest it has been in years.
88. I am still friends with my best friend from 3rd grade…Greg Johnson.
89. After a night of significant drinking, Greg offered to cut off his little finger to replace the one I had lost. Greg would have cut off his little finger if I had accepted the offer. There is no doubt in my mind. Greg slept in his car that night with a foot on the brake and his manual shift car in neutral. When he awoke the next morning with a start, he took his foot off the brake and started rolling down a very steep hill toward the St. Croix River.
90. I thought I was not going to like living in SoCal when we got transferred here 9 years ago. I think it is a great place to live and have enjoyed it immensely.
91. We have purchased 156 acres of beautiful land in Colorado. We are moving in June. We will have horses and a view of the Front Range of the Rockies.
92. My wife and I used to be soloists on the praise team in our old church. One of the great joys in my life is singing a duet with my wife.
93. Most men have no clue when it comes to women.
94. Many women really don’t understand men and the amount of time we think about sex.
95. I would like to be involved in some kind of ministry that helps men be better prepared in a relationship/marriage. I am out of my league here, but have great life lessons and a real heart to help men to not walk away from relationships because we don’t have the tools to deal with some frustrating issues. Grammy, can you give me a crash course?
96. I ran the LA Marathon when I was 40. I averaged 8-minute miles and finished in 3 hours and 28 minutes. If you want to know what it feels like when every energy source in your body has been tapped into and there is nothing left but to basically burn the furniture….and you still have 6 miles to go…run a marathon.
97. We totally renovated our kitchen and it was featured on “Designer’s Challenge” on HGTV. I can’t believe how many people say they were flipping channels and “heard this voice” and realized it was me blabbing away about our silly kitchen. I thought it would be on once and no one would notice. They have run it about 15 times.
98. My family loves the RV. We rented our first one when the girls were about 5. There is just something really cool about hitting the road and basically taking your house with you.
99. I sang on stage at the House of Blues in Las Vegas and opened for Hootie and the Blowfish.. OK, we had the place rented for a large (1,000 people) sales meeting and we were the “company rock band”. The crowd loved us so much it turns out that Hootie got ticked and booted us off 15 minutes early because he didn’t like the competition.
100. I am blessed.