ONEMIND DOGS’ 4 SECRETS TO KEEPING YOUR DOG CALM ON JULY 4
Secret #1: Exude a calm attitude
Secret #2: Lead with body language
Secret #3: Reassure with small treat portions
Secret #4: Go prepared
Happy Indepawndence Day!
I’ve always believed that each of us has a story to tell. Since high school, I wanted to write a book. However, the subject, genre, and even the story never developed until I closed the door of my office and wrote the first line. This did not occur until I was in my 40’s. Like any story, the author must have some motive to push us over the edge and start writing. Mine arrived in the form of motivation, seeking the way out of a failing technology business and a need to escape all that can go wrong with a small company.
In the fall of 2009, I found myself in the most difficult position I had ever faced. I had started a gear and technology business years earlier and by 2008 had developed and patented a unique technology. This led to a multimillion dollar distribution contract between my small company and a public company out of Dallas, Texas.
I had trusted this company, signed a contract that laid out the deal, shaken hands, and celebrated with them over nice wine and dinner. However, unbeknownst to me, they had a plan in place that would eventually lead to the destruction of my company.
By the end of 2009, things started smelling funny as they piled up excuse after excuse why they would not pay us. I asked for mediation, according to the contract’s terms, but they refused. In the end, they wanted a contract that allowed for them to control our product without assuming any risk. This is not what we had negotiated almost two years earlier, and not something I was willing to give at the time. The result was that my company was running on fumes and I knew I’d be forced to lay off staff, sell assets, and shut the doors. I loved my employees and this became a horrible period in my life, not to mention the loss of significant investment. I needed to find something uplifting.
I’ve always loved fly-fishing and found the hours alone in the Colorado wilderness to be the perfect, thoughtful place to sort through my life. Alone on the river, I had considered losing my mom and how my father dealt with her death years ago. As it turns out, this set the roots of the story I had to write.
America is the greatest place in the world to live and do business, but it is not perfect. To pursue justice, I had to take another large financial chance; legal costs are not cheap and just to be heard, I would need to spend over $100,000 to bring my case forward in the judicial system. However, I concluded I could not live with myself if I simply let them walk away without owning up to what they had done. It’s the bet they never thought I would take, and they were almost right.
In the depths of closing my business and filing the law suit, I closed my office door, sat down, and wrote the line: ‘Sarah Field lives in a world of colors.’ Eventually, this became my book, The Colors of Blue. When I finished, I shared it with family and friends, cleaned things up a bit, and let it settle onto my shelf. On November 18, 2013, I published The Colors of Blue on Amazon.
The trial began in Dallas, Texas on the 2nd of December, 2013. I was the key witness and spent three and one half days on the stand. As these things go, I would not land on my pillow until after midnight for each of the sixteen days of trial. Needless to say, it was exhausting. However, aside from my wife and family, there was one bright light that awaited me each evening. This was to look through the email and the Amazon reviews of those who had read my book. Those turned out to be both affirming and positive, seeing that others were finding joy in something that had been such a positive experience to create. The Colors of Blue has 41 reviews on Amazon as I write this and is a 4.5 star rating.
On the 19th of December, 2013, we had rested our case. This meant that we could no longer call any witnesses. However, the defense paraded three more onto the stand that all had the same, canned, message, they would never do anything as sinister as cheating another company. All fingers were pointed at me and my employees and that, if there were any problems, they were due to us.
On the 30th of December, the jury found the company guilty of fraud and awarded my small company compensation. The end of the trial was the final chapter for my business but the process brought forth my first novel, The Colors of Blue.
Finding writing so rewarding, I’ve stepped fully into my second novel. I’ve roughed the story in and am concentrating on how everything unfolds. For me, this is where the real art of writing is found. Each scene must have meaning and purpose, allowing the reader to discover the story alongside the main characters, yet also providing the audience critical insight as if they are flies on the wall. The wrong dose and the story is too predictable or perhaps just confusing.
I suppose an exceptional writer could tell the same story two different ways, unfolding the scenes to the readers differently and still keep the same audience captivated. I’m not this writer now, but know the road to perfection has no end. I hope those who pick up The Colors of Blue get lost in the story and also that they find I have advanced when they read my current project.
The Colors of Blue is Lance McCulloch’s first novel. He wrote this novel as a way to cope with the loss of his parents. He lost his mother to cancer and then his father in the crash of Egypt Air 990 in 1999.
Back when we made mixtapes from the radio, there was a certain soulful passion to music listening – you had to love love a song to wait for it to come on the radio and make sure you hit the record button(s) at the right time to have that song on your tape. As music went digital and we switched to making mix CDs, it became far easier to have songs at your fingertips. That’s when we started fine tuning the song changes and paid even closer attention to the theme of the CD. We made sure the song changes were smoother and the quality of the songs were better. It took less time to find and record the songs, so a closer inspection was required.
But then there were the groups that took the art of mix creating and changed treated it as a joke. Rather than having a central theme to the mix CD, they would merely have collection of fun songs or what they liked right that minute – but there was no introspection, no musical weaving happening that marks the true mix CD from the collection of songs on the same disc. Some of us traditionalists kept it up – we even had LiveJournal groups where we traded mix CDs. Unfortunately, life and time took me away from that intriguing and soul-baring creative outlet that I once loved.
That all changed recently. A friend of mine asked me if I could name one song that summed up where I am in life now. I was perplexed. It was akin to choosing a favorite book – a nigh impossible task if you ask me! And so I began to search. Through the process, I decided to instead take it up a notch and make a current version of a mixtape – a mix YouTube playlist. So I gathered songs that represented me at various points in my life, and I would like to share it with you – (warning, some songs are explicit versions)
Do you have a song that sums up your life as it is now? Have you created your own playlist of YOUR history in music? I would love to hear it!
What is it about pirates that make them so entertaining to kids and adults alike? Perhaps the eye patches, the bandanas, maybe the threat of scurvy? Whatever it is, I’m glad that Disney Junior started their Jake and the Never Land Pirates show because it’s definitely fun for us to watch together. And here’s the big news – tomorrow on Friday, January 3, the third season will start with a brand new episode with guest stars Jack McBrayer and Josh Duhamel.
My kids absolutely LOVE Jake and the Never Land Pirates. They love being pirates too. I think they may have soaked that in from my sister who also has a pirate fascination. But however it happened, I’m pretty sure you’ll find us dressed in pirate gear and waiting in anticipation for the new episode right after breakfast tomorrow. Luckily for us, I received an email with an offer to share a clip of the new episode and, of course, I said I would be delighted to share! So here’s a clip from tomorrow’s episode, “Treasure of the Pirate Mummy’s Tomb”:
Do you watch Jake and the Never Land Pirates on Disney Junior?
While there is a large number of famous people who I don’t recognize by name or face (usually I need both, or a reminder of what they’re in…), one celebrity that I absolutely adore is Vince Vaughn. I just think he’s hilarious and I love the movies that he makes. Now I don’t know or follow the nitty-gritty details of his personal life (celebrities don’t follow my life, why should I follow theirs?) so I’m not saying that he’s like the perfect person or anything, but yeah, I love his movies. So when I heard about an opportunity to be one of the first to debut the new trailer for his new movie Delivery Man, you’d better believe I jumped on board!
Delivery Man Starring Vince Vaughn
So I’m pretty sure this movie is going to be hilarious. Clue #1: Vince Vaughn is in it. I’m not sure I’ve seen a comedy he’s done that’s not funny. But the gist of the story is that there’s this regular ol’ underachiever dude (we all know some, right?) who used to make donations to fertility clinics 20 years ago (I know we all know someone who thinks that’s a great idea…) and so he’s finding out now that he has fathered 533 children from his donations. WOAH, now that is a lot of kids. So there are 142 of the kids who have decided that they would like to meet their biological father, and it’s up to him to decide if he’s going to meet them or not.
What would you do?
Anyway, you know there is hilarity about to ensue just from the setup of that scenario. So part of the promotion that they’re doing for the movie is asking 533 bloggers (get it? like the number of kids?) if they’d like to be the first to debut the movie trailer today (July 2). And guess what – I’m one of them! Well, not one of his bio kids, but one of the bloggers who gets to share the trailer. YAHOO! I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine, and word of this project came out when I was facing the fact that I had to put my dog down because her health was failing and she was very sick. So yes, I’m super psyched to post it because I love to laugh and spread laughter and y’all know Vince Vaughn is fantastic for that. So, now what you’ve been waiting for…
Trailer for Delivery Man Starring Vince Vaughn
Disclosure: I received no compensation for posting this, except the joy in being one of the 533 bloggers who were given the trailer to debut. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
This past week I found some really interesting and amazing stories about my ancestors, and the first one I’d like to tell you about is my paternal grandfather. My grandfather, Elmer Aloysius Robbins, was one of ten children born to John and Frances (Kuhn) Robbins of Fort Recovery, Ohio. He was born on February 19, 1921 and passed away at the age of 65 on December 1, 1986. I don’t remember him because I was 2.5 years old when he died, but my grandmother has often told us stories and memories about him so much that it feels like I almost could have known him.
Back in 1898 in Iowa, the first gasoline dispensing pump and underground storage tank were invented by John J. Tokheim. He then closed up shop at his hardware store and well pump company and created a manufacturing company that made gasoline pumps. In 1901, the company was incorporated as Tokheim Company and Mr. Tokheim received a patent for the first visible measuring pump. Fast forward to 1918, and a consortium of investors led by Ralph F. Diserens purchased the company and relocated operations to Fort Wayne, Indiana where it was incorporated under the name Tokheim Oil Tank and Pump Company. In the 1950’s-1970’s, my grandfather worked for Tokheim and was listed as an inventor on 13 patents that were assigned to Tokheim Corporation.
- On September 19, 1955, patent 2844164 for a Flow Line Poppet Type Check Valve was filed with inventor Elmer A. Robbins. It was patented on July 22, 1958.
- On December 12, 1955, patent 2845085 for a Separable, Yielding Mounting for Valves was filed with inventor Elmer A Robbins. It was patented on July 29, 1958.
- On May 25, 1956, patent 2846119 for a Presettable Predeterminer and Hydraulic Cut-Off Valve Mechanism was filed with inventor Elmer A Robbins. It was patented on August 5, 1958.
- On December 12, 1958, patent 2930528 for a Register Resetting Mechanism was filed with inventor Elmer A Robbins. It was patented on March 29, 1960.
- On July 30, 1962, patent 3188005 for a Power Reset Mechanism for Registers was filed with inventors George W. Wright, Elmer A. Robbins, and Melvin C. Hankel. It was patented on June 8, 1965.
- On December 21, 1964, patent 3285381 for a Currency Controlled Gasoline Dispenser was filed with inventor Elmer A. Robbins. It was patented on November 15, 1966.
- On March 1, 1968, patent 3498501 for a Dispensing Control System was filed with inventors Elmer A. Robbins and Roger C. Bruot. It was patented on March 3, 1970.
- On March 28, 1969, patent 3593883 for an Automatic Dispensing Apparatus was filed with inventor Elmer A Robbins. It was patented on July 20, 1971.
- On February 15, 1972, patent 3845848 for a Bill Accepting Motor Fuel Dispensing Apparatus was filed with inventor Elmer A. Robbins. It was patented on November 5, 1974.
- On May 21, 1973, patent D237101 for a Swing-Arm Fuel Dispenser for Service Stations was filed with inventors John S. Loy, Elmer A. Robbins, and Melvin C. Hankel for a term of 14 years. It was patented on October 7, 1975.
- On September 19, 1974, patent 4009800 A was filed for a Fluid Dispenser with inventors Melvin C. Hankel, John S. Loy, and Elmer A. Robbins. It was patented on March 1, 1977.
- On September 4, 1975, patent 3982664 A was filed for a Batch Controller for Gasoline Having Dribble Feed with inventors William D. Key and Elmer A. Robbins. It was patented on September 28, 1976.
- On November 10, 1975, patent S251270 was filed for a Swing-Arm Fuel Dispenser for Service Stations with inventors Melvin C. Hankel, John S. Loy, and Elmer A. Robbins. It was patented on March 6, 1979.
If you click on any of those links, you’ll be taken to a page on Google Patents where you can print most of them. Some of the links do not have printable copies. The most amazing part, to me, was that I could see the drawings of the inventions of which my grandfather conceived and even his signature. For me, although it feels like I’ve known him because of the way my grandmother breathes life into the stories and memories that she tells me, seeing his drawings and signature and the work that he has done makes him seem even more like a real person.
Other than the fact that I was searching for his name and I found the patents, you would not see Elmer Robbins in the history of the gasoline pump. But he certainly took the advice of Benjamin Franklin and wrote things worth reading. I wonder if we aren’t suffering from the technological advancements that we have now. I certainly would not be able to come up with the ideas that my grandfather had, although I know there are some people who could. In fact, it’s a little hard to even read his technical specs in the patents. I had to ask for help to even understand patents, and I still don’t think I really do! But at least now, when my children ask about our family, I can point to physical evidence and tell them that computers and calculators really ARE unnecessary because my grandfather was able to invent these amazing parts without having either.
Have you researched your family? Have you made any amazing discoveries?
In my house, of the month of June gets a little wild. Five years ago on my birthday, I had to pass up the strawberry pie that my mom made me so I could go home after a long day of walking around trying to convince my son that it was time for him to be born. Later that night, I went into labor and the next day my little man was born. When I was younger (ok, even last year…), I celebrated my birth week – the entire week of my birthday was one awesome bash. Now, it really wasn’t all that awesome every year, but I always focused on ways to make it super. Now that I’m older and sharing a birth week, I feel the need to step it up to a birth MONTH. And that little eccentricity of mine actually works out for you, dear reader!
I’m delighted to be announcing that I am taking part as a co-host in a Birthday Cookie Giveaway from CookieGiftBaskets.com! On June 2nd, very early into my birth month, TWO winners will be chosen for a birthday cookie arrangement (up to $75 in value). They have some really awesome designs that range from hand iced bouquets of sugar cookies to giant cookie cakes and a wide choice of arrangements in tins and boxes – you can check out all the options available to the winners here. You can see the arrangements are quite large and perfect to use at a party or take to work so you can celebrate with family and friends – and they’re also great to give as gifts too!
Now the important stuff – the rules! To enter, you must be 18 or older and live in the continental United States (aka the Lower 48, sorry Alaska and Hawaii residents!). The winners will be picked randomly on Rafflecopter and the winning entries will be verified. Check here for the full official rules. Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you use an email that you check! And just a reminder – there will be 2 winners chosen!