I am not a role model: Charles Barkley, STAT and shoes

Is it the shoes?

The 1st ever Charles Barkley shoe.There is a common misconception that many make. I for one am guilty of it. The shoes Charles Barkley wore during the Phoenix Suns 1992-1993 magical playoff run (in which they lost to the Bulls in the Finals, stupid Michael Jordan) were not actually his shoes. Meaning they were not signature Charles Barkley Nike shoes. They were Nike shoes worn and endorsed by Charles Barkley. There is a difference. They are also the shoes he wore in the 1993 "I am not a role model" commercial with Nike. But again, they are not his shoe. They are the Air Force 180, shown above, and one of my favorite shoes of all time, although I've never owned a pair.

Barkley's shoe came out in 1993-94, featured here in this video (must watch) with the afore mentioned stupid Michael Jordan. Barkley's first actual shoe was called the Air Force Max CB.

Recently, Nike brought back the Air Force Max2 CB 94 shoe. It is the one endorsed by stupid Amar'e Stoudemire. Sure, STAT, throw it all the Suns fans faces. Leave Phoenix for NYC and then wear some Barkley shoes, the same guy you replaced as the best Suns Power Forward.

The Charles Barkley shoes Amar'e Stoudemire wears.

Now Barkley and Nike roll out 5 other shoes, just in time for the Spring/Summer Olympics 2012. Three of them pictured below. Hmmm... still using those Suns colors and the others definitely look like USA Olympic colors to me.

10 Things I'm Obsessed With Right Now

With the season finale of Game of Thrones and the re-launch of Orange is the New Black, it's time for me to give you my Top 10 List of Things I'm Currently Obsessed With Right Now.

1) USA Soccer - No Landon Donovan? No problem. Clint Dempsey will do just fine. And we better beat Portugal. 

2) Game of Thrones - It's a great show, no doubt. But my real obsession is with Deanerys Targaron. Aka. The Mother of Dragons. Aka, actress....

3) Nike's new running shoes - The Flyknits are dope. Nike SB's are off the charts. The Free. The Flex. I can go on.

4) Discovering my Muse - This includes WestsideCulture, writing my book, starting my own business and investing time to help many of my peers start their own businesses. 

5) Audi and Tesla - I go back and forth on which one of these I want. Leaning towards Audi. R8 (dreaming is free). But more realistically, the A6.

6) Summer in San Diego - Is there anything better? Didn't think so.

7) Feeding my mind - What you put into your mind (and body) has a direct correlation of what you produce. So feed your mind with powerful thoughts, knowledge and positivity and watch the results.

8) 

Stefan Janoski and Nike SB: Can I Kick It?

Thanks to PacSun and Nike - two companies that know a thing or two about West Coast Lifestyle, I can know get all kinds of Nike gear on the cheap. PacSun frequently gives coupon codes, offers discounts and generally speaking, is a great place to find hot deals online.

Now, they are offering Nike SB (Nike Skateboarding) gear and shoes. They feature several shoe designs by Cali-born skaters, Stefan Janoski and Paul Rodriguez, not to mention pretty sick online exclusives like this Nike SB T-Shirt. Plus, one of Westside Culture's first interviewees, Kristin Reiter, plays a big role in curating Nike SB's hip collection. 

First on my list to buy is the Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max (pictured above), with the graffiiti writing inside, stating "Strike and Destroy". A good motto to use and be reminded of each day you rock these kicks. Or you can just do what I do and tell most people to "Kick Rocks." This is generally followed up by some sort of fight, but at least now I'll be ready to run fast in my new shoes.

Living the 1% Life

Last weekend I had the opportunity to stay at a multi-million dollar home and live the 1% lifestyle.

Here's what I learned:

Millionaires have really, really big closets.

Forget walk-in showers, try a 200 sq foot walk through shower, complete with seperate entrances and exits. And a waterfall. 

Theatre rooms are a must have. So is a game room.

Tennis courts? Check.

Basketball courts? Check.

Trampoline? Check.

Work out room? Check.

Seperate guest house for your rowdy friends? Check.

7 fireplaces might seem excessive. It's not.

Your backyard pool needs to have rocks and a waterfall. And a slide built into said rock waterfall.

Said pool also needs a swim up bar.

Sometimes 6-car garages and a huge circular drive aren't enough. So to solve the issue, you add another building to house your RV and a few more rides. 

If all of this seems excessive, well you are either not living the 1% lifestyle or you're not doing it right.

Want List: 14 Items I Needed Like Yesterday

###I've accepted a new position w/ a new company.###

It's the perfect situation for me. Techy. Start-up driven environment. Treat their employees well. Roll to work in jeans, flip-flops and a t-shirt. Maybe even an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball cap. Why not?

Am I excited? Of course! What I'm most excited about however is buying and experiencing all the things I've been dreaming about for the past few months.

They are as follows:

The New iPad. Duh.

Trip to San Francisco. Gotta go see my boy Nate-Dogg up in the Bay Area. While there, I'd like to check out a few of the hip Silicon Valley offices, like Zynga, Twitter, Facebook, Pixar, etc.

Tickets to the next 6 D'Backs v Padres games in San Diego.

A car wash. Man my ride is dirty. And not in a good way like, Gonna Catch Me Ridin' Dirty.

The following Blu-Rays: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Social Network, Colombiana, Avatar, Jerry Maguire (purchased the two crossed out yesterday)

Subscription to Success and Inc. Magazine. Yes, people really do still subscribe to magazines these days.

Kite surfing lessons.

Trip to Las Vegas. See my girl, Whit-Dogg. And stay at a posh hotel like the Cosmo or Aria. 

New kicks. I've been rocking the same Nike Shocks for 2 years. My nephew who is 6 makes fun of me. Time to upgrade to the Nike Free.

New D'Backs New Era 59FIFTY cap. The Sedona Red one.

XBOX 360. The Wii sucks.

MLB 2K12 to go with my XBOX 360. The commercial stars Kate Upton, my baby's momma. 

Behavioral lessons for Aix the French Bulldog. Dude is out of control.

The Tiger Woods book.

 

### With my new schedule, I will not be able to post everyday and still put the same amount of passion, energy, time and creativity into it as I would like. So my promise to you, I will post new content twice/week.

Right now I am thinking Tuesday and Thursday and I'll let you know for sure. This benefits you, my WSC fan base. Now you'll know when to come back, instead of the current system, where you just check randomly to see if there is anything new.

As always, I am appreciative of each of you. Thanks for reading and being a part of WSC. -KR

15 Ways to Change Your Life for $15 or Less

I completed a roadie recently and listened to two audio books on the drive. The first was The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau and the second was The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I highly recommend both as each got me thinking about cheap ways to create change, inspire yourself and others, and stay motivated.

#1) Start a blog and dedicate yourself to a regular posting schedule. Cost $0.

#2) Listen to and or read The Art of Non Conformity. Cost $7-15, use Audible.com or Amazon.

#3) Create a goal book. Cost $10-15 depending on magazines used and photo album/notebook.

My rendering of "texting" via Draw Something. Good thing it wasn't "sexting".... lol#4) Play Draw Something. Cost $0. Seriously, drawing forces you to think creatively and use your right brain, an area that is undeveloped in most people.

#5) Meditate. I've started this practice and for about 5-20 minutes each day, I close my eyes and just focus on breathing. It helps clear your mind and brings renewed focus and energy. Cost $0.

#6) Excercise. Cost $0-$15, depending how you choose to excercise. My preferred methods include yoga, boxing, running and the gym.

#7) Go to Starbucks, buy a latte and just start writing. Write whatever jumps into your mind. Cost $5.

#8) Drive to the nearest college campus and take a stroll. Something about the students' energy and higher eductation that inspires. Cost $3-5 depending on distance from home.

#9) Take out a piece of paper and do the following excercise: Describe your perfect day. Write down everything, from the time you wake up in the morning, to where you'll go, who you'll talk to, what senses you'll use, all the way until when you go to bed. Cost $0.

#10) Along the same lines, go to the store, buy a lottery ticket and imagine what you'll do if you won the jackpot. Cost $1.

#11) Volunteer to give a speech. This can be anywhere; work, a wedding, a class, etc. Just make sure you get up in front of 10 or more people. You're going to feel butterflies. That's good. This teaches you to bust through your fear. Cost $0.

#12) Turn the shower on freezing cold, or as cold as it will possibly go. Step into it. All the way. Cost $0.

#13) Go to the busiest street in your city. Walk down the sidewalk during lunch time. Randomly lay down. Count to 30. Then get up and keep walking. Cost $0.

#14) Get in the habit of paying yourself first. Antime you receive money, put $15 into a savings account you will not touch. Then, do not touch it. Cost $15.

#15) Get organized! Whatever method you chose to use. A planner, a notebook, digital apps, etc. Cost $0-15.

 

Thoughts from a random Friday: Goal Books

About 3, maybe 4 years ago, I read an article by a creative entrepreneur and sadly I cannot remember his name. Anyway, the jist of the article was aimed at those who consider themselves "visual" people. I fall into that category, most creative types do. 

So the author recommended starting a visual goal book, where you go through old magazines and cut out things that speak to you. Some examples for me include a house on the beach, a pimped out office for WSC, rock hard abs, etc. Then you take all of the cutouts and begin your themes or goals, or whatever you want to call them.

When I did this project years ago, I set 5 goals. I nailed 4/5 goals within 6 months and the 5th about 2 years later. I know others who have had nearly identical results. My 5 goals? New career, new car, new home, more money. The final one probably should have been thought through a little clearer as it contradicted one of my previous goals. Move to San Diego. Not easy to do when you just bought a new condo.

Now you might say, can't I just use pinterest for this? Others might say, "What the F is pinterest?"

I'll answer the first question. For the second go here. No, you cannot use pinterest for this project. It works best when you physically cut the items out. Place them into a photo album or notebook. Have them in your presence. Not to go too zen on you, but you need to be at one with this book. Then put it away once it's complete and don't think about it again for a minimum of 6 months.

Recently, I've noticed a lack of clarity and focus in myself. I blame my girlfriend. And my dog, Aix the French Bulldog. Not really. Kind of.

I sat down and brainstormed how to overcome this. The answer, do a new goal book. And when you come visit the new offices of WSC, you'll know it worked. 

212 and the 21 day habit

 

It's a poorly hidden secret that in just 21 days you can change almost any behavior, attitude, habit or belief. Do (or don't do) something consistently for 21 straight days and you will have formed a new habit. I have tried this several times and never once have I gotten to the 21 day mark. I always end up starting over. We'll come back to this later.

I wanted to get this post out last Saturday, the 21st, because that was 21 days after we each set your New Year's resolutions. How's that going, by the way?

Alas, life got in the way and I didn't write the post. See, we all set goals and resolutions and many of us never have the will power, time, energy or effort it takes do be successful. Excuses.

Someone once told me, "There are reasons and there are results." I try to stick by this motto as much as possible.

So here we stand, but not alone, those of us who failed our resolutions already, not 26 days after creating them. Start over. Try again. This time, do it with everything you've got in you. 21 days. That's it. 3 weeks. 3 weeks to change your life. Powerful stuff, right? It is, yet many of you (like me) may end up failing.

Thank you to San Parker creator of 212 for this image.How can we change that? Well, there is something that might be able to help us.

There is a company that has created a movement we each should follow. It's the science of 212. At 211 degrees, water is hot. Really fucking hot, still it's just hot. It's not boiling. That happens at 212 degrees. That one extra degree of effort changes everything. And February of this year is 212 month (2/12). So for the entire month, let's all give that one extra degree of effort. You don't even need to make it all 28 days. 21 is enough.

Who knows, we might finally be successful with one of our New Year's resolutions.

They are going to think you're crazy

Here's to the crazy ones.

I'm reminded of an Adam Sandler comedy CD in which he did a skit and just kept repeating, "No! They're all going to laugh at you!"

You know what? Let them laugh.

When you try to go after your hopes, dreams, passion, purpose, money, success, etc., many will say you're crazy. Especially if it's something unconventional. That's when you know you're on the right track. If you look at yourself at the end of your (work, travel, creative, business, etc) type of day and say, "I'm making progress and on the right path," then really, does it matter what they say? I nominate no for an answer. Apple did zero market research when deciding whether to make the iPod, iPad, Mac and iPhone. They didn't research whether retail stores were a good idea, or where to open them. They had an idea and they went after it. Prior to each of those events and product launches, people told them they were crazy.

I understand, we can't all be the guy who created Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg already beat us there, and allegedly the Winkelvoss twins. Still, I'm convinced, you can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do. I could name to you hundreds of people who have laughed in the face of conventional wisdom only to create something great. Each of them were told, "You're crazy."

Credit Jonathan FieldsSometimes I really think I am crazy. Like some day, all this effort, all this persistence, all this energy, all this charisma and charm will combust into a successful project, business, idea, strategy. Well, ok, maybe not the charisma and charm, but the rest of it, why not? 

When you are trying something new and different, it will only be a matter of time. Someone will tell you that you're crazy. Just look them right in the eye, smile and say, "Thank you." Or you could just lay down wherever you happen to stand (or sit) and pretend to fall a sleep. Both are acceptable options.

Pets have WestSide Culture, too

Huge thanks to Jaclyn Campbell for submitting these pics! Just in time for the start of the NBA season. Jaclyn lives in Arcata, Cali and reps the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings. (Obviously). Check out her site, Jackie Charm. She told me more of these pics are coming, so stay tuned....

GState: Thuggin' like Monta Ellis and Steph Curry

 

 

 

 

 

Objects in the mirror, Burning bridges and Success

The people behind you are in your past for a reason.As I'm headed home to Phoenix for Thanksgiving, I have two thoughts top of mind. The first is taking notice of everything I'm thankful for. And the second, other than family and friends, what do I have waiting for me in Phoenix, the place I lived for 30 years?

The answer is not much. 30 years and nothing to show for it. And that's just the way I want it.

Human beings have a strong desire to keep our options open. We constantly look backwards, behind us. We stay in contact with previous employers, bosses, co-workers, clients, etc. Even ones we didn't like that much. Why? Because we want to allow ourselves the ability to go back if we need it. Often we even justify it in our minds, "Oh it wasn't so bad when I worked there" forgetting the reason we left in the first place. Or we remain in touch with an ex just in case we need to rekindle the romance should our current one fail.

There is a different way and one that I have recently chosen to embark on.

How many times has your mother or a colleague given you the old cliche advice, "Don't burn your bridges"? Too many to count, I'm sure. Well my advice to you is the exact opposite. Burn your bridges. All of them. Douse those bitches in gasoline and grab some matches. In fact, if there is a tree that has fallen down anywhere near the river, burn that, too.

To move forward, you must let the past go. Leave yourself no choice. You cannot go back because you have nothing to go back to. The only choice now is to plow forward with everything you've got. And trust me, what you have is enough. Make it happen.


32 Things I Learned In 32 Years

As I rapidly approach my 33rd birthday (Nov 15), I find myself asking what have I learned in these 32 years? Hopefully a lot. If I cannot list 32 items, we've got some problems. Let's examine:

1) Relationships are the most important thing. Value those you are close to. They will be the ones who will support you when your back is against the wall.

2) Not only do dogs have feelings, they know when you're coming home. Yes, they also remember things. And know when you're talking about them. Many can spell.

3) Putting your heart into something is a catalyst for success. If you don't love it, you're not going to do it. 

4) Happiness is not just material things. It can be material, but only after you have a foundation of contentment with yourself.

5) Venice, Italy is better than Venice Beach, California. And it's not even close.

6) Movies can be a valuable tool for motivation. They can teach you to follow dreams, learn and overcome.

7) Do what you love. The rest will figure itself out.

8) It is really, really hot in Phoenix, Arizona. Then there is the summer time. At which point really, really hot doesn't even start to fucking explain it.

9) Eventually, you will have to blow into the Nintendo to get it to work.

10) And the Playstation needs to be turned upside down with a fan blowing on it.

Wow. Now those are some graphics.11) Bo Jackson and the Oakland Raiders are still running in Tecmo Bowl. His career ended far to soon. And really, the Oakland Raiders are still running. A lot.

12) Kevin Johnson, aka SacTown's finest, is still my favorite Phoenix Sun of all time. Sorry, Charles. Runner up is Steve Nash, a West Coast Baller for sure (Santa Clara, Vancouver, Phoenix).

13) Boise State's blue field kicks ass.

14) San Diego is the best place to vacation. It's also the best place to live.

15) Buy low, sell high.

16) Investing in Phoenix and or Vegas real estate anytime from 2005 - 2011 was a bad idea.

17) I cannot wake up in the morning without espresso. Or coffee. I prefer Starbucks.

18) It takes money to make money.

The other #23 in Chicago.19) Ryne Sandberg is the greatest athlete to come from the state of Washington. And apparently he and I both interview poorly. Ryno has been skipped over now by the Cardinals and the Cubs, twice.

20) I've attended 25 years of San Francisco Giants Spring Training Baseball games. I can tell you anything you want to know.

21) The cable man is not coming anytime soon. Also, he really doesn't care. Neither does his company. In fact, all customer service standards no longer apply.

22) Al McCoy is way cooler than Vin Scully.

23) Taking action is the key. The key to solving problems, making decisions, overcoming obstacles and reaching goals is simply taking the first step.

24) Harvard of the West, Arizona State University is not, but I still love it.

25) Apple is better than Microsoft. Steve Jobs is the man. And he might be my favorite person if Tim Tebow continues to only complete 2 passes per game. Really?

26) The left coast is the best coast.

27) Jimmy Z, the Vision hip pack and Z Cavaricci were never really that cool. Neither was Debbie Gibson. 

28) You are far better off listening than speaking.

29) Top Gun is one of the best movies of all time. Classic one liners throughout. The beginning with Kenny Loggins and "Highway to the Danger Zone" rocks. Although, the sex scene and "Take My Breath Away" still feels awkward. 

30) Jake "The Snake" Plummer was the best Arizona State quarterback. And the worst Arizona Cardinal quarterback. He was also the last shot ASU will ever have to win a National Championship. Stupid David Boston. And while we are at it, I'm not a real big fan of Santonio Holmes either.

31) Be thankful for what you have. Each day, take stock in what you have, how you are successful and what you've accomplished. It helps keep things in perspective.

32) Be present. Enjoy. Every. Single. Day. 

Light the Night Walk: Taking Steps to Cure Cancer

 

It may impact you directly, it may impact you distantly, it may impact you indirectly, but one thing is certain we all know CANCER. We may not all know the emotional, physical and lasting impact cancer has on individuals, their families and their friends. We may not know what it feels like to FIGHT for our lives, to SURVIVE. But, we all know it touches lives from 1 to 100. We know the victims are undeserving of the disease. We know that it's haunting and a burden. We know some are easy to fight, some cannot be fought and some are yet to be found... We know we may not need help ourselves, but that we can help. We know it sucks... 

So... This Saturday, November 12th let's Light the Night in Tempe, AZ at Tempe Arts Park. 

The walk supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It is a night where friends and family can join hands and hold their red lit balloons high while lighting the night to fight. This year help support my dear friend and her families team "Team Swedish Fish". They've fought, they've fought hard twice and they've won. They know just how valuable the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is to all patients, families of patients and the community. Let's give back; one cancer at a time, one fight to be won, one walk...

"WALK THE TALK"

http://pages.lightthenight.org/dm/Phoenix11/SwedishFish

To Pin or Not To Pin...

 

That is the question... But, not really, not at all. As pinning is just the latest and greatest thing to do.
Yes, thing to do, I said. And here is why... Remember when you were a wee one and you had a cork board. On that cork board you added your favorite photos, your favorite outfits, a picture of your favorite band from your favorite teen magazine and your friends class photos. Remember when you would organize and re-organize, when you would post a picture of the specific pair of roller blades you wanted for Christmas or your birthday wish list... Remember?

Now fast forward... It's 20 years later and you're all grown up. But, you have ideas and passions and rooms to decorate and meals to make and gifts to give and goals to meet and dreams to live. Now the world is fast paced and everything is at your finger tips. Now when you are surfing the net and browsing your favorite recipe site you have a place to put that fleeting fast paced thought that you just don't want to forget, but that you would have otherwise.

Now you can "pin it". And your thoughts, ideas, tomorrow's dinner, tonight's kid craft, your next vacation... Now you can pin it and remember your whims on another day. This is my favorite place to put my "lists", my "to remember". I have many boards and many pins here and there... I have boards for my tiny human, for him, must read books, favorite places and spaces, for my feet, to try, yummy tummies and vacation home. I have boards to document style and inspirations, to put ideas to celebrate family and a board specifically for "yes, please" - items I want. 

Pinterest is an incredible hub for thoughts and ideas. Try it, take it for a test run... I'm fairly certain you will love it. And the inspiration will flow. 

Life's just one big gamble

Personally, I'd stay on the 21.A friend of mine was recently in town for a job interview. We hung out a few nights and I could tell the decision of whether to take the job and start fresh in a new city, or not, was wearing on him. So, I asked him, given all the information you have at your disposal, what is the worst thing that can happen? And what is the best thing that can happen?

Think about it. Every single decision we make is essentially a gamble, a guess. We do the best we can with the information given to us at that particular moment. Everything from the jobs we choose, the relationships we decide to keep (and not keep), the way we think, what we think about, and how we spend our time. It all comes down to a choice.

At the blackjack table, you are presented with options. Hit or stay, surrender (please, don't ever surrender), double down, split your cards. How do you make these decisions? If you are like most people, when presented with these options, you go with your heart. When it feels like your stomach helps in the decision making, that's heart. You can also choose to make decisions analytically, with your mind. You calculate, process, deduce and come up with the best possible answer.

Which is better? Usually, the best decisions we can make are a combination of mind and heart. Narrow your decision down by using the information available to you and analyze the data in your mind. Then, let your heart have it's say, too.

What if you still can't choose? I believe that ultimately for us to progress in our lives, we need to take chances, to live life, to learn, to have new experiences, to grow. So go ahead, roll the dice. What's the worst that can happen?

 

Do not pass go, but get your money

Often times when I meet a new person at a bar or dinner party, I'll ask the question, "So what do you do?" Ugghh. Kill me. Sorry I asked.

I do this for three reasons:

#1 I'm genuinely interested (read: you seem cool, so this conversation isn't over, yet)

#2 It's ingrained in me to ask this question (although I hate it and I'm determined to never ask it again)

#3 I'm trying to figure out if this person can help me in any way (worst reason of all three - you should want to help others, not find out if they can help you)

All of these are the wrong approach. In fact, the question itself is a poor approach.

I know several people who will flat out refuse to answer the question of "What do you do?" Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, will say, "Drug dealing for fun and profit", which I've put my own spin on "Hang out and get paid" or "Writing for fun and profit." Others like Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one of my favorite authors, might reply that they are a flaneur. (A flaneur is one who sits at cafes or walks the streets taking in the culture, while philosophising about life, literature, dreams, goals, etc).

Either way, if you are asked this question, I suggest you either 1) lie, 2) make something up, 3) tell them the conversation is over, or 4) stare blankly at them while not blinking. 

When you are done with one of these four responses, ask them this, "If you had to quit your job tomorrow, how would you spend your day?"

Ask someone this and you will get a real response as to what type of person they are, as opposed to some canned answer they've recited several hundred times. It will also allow you to determine how you may be able to help them.

For example, I might tell you that, "I cannot quit my job tomorrow because I don't have one. I'll spend my day at a cafe writing, in my home office developing WestSide Culture, and living life as I see fit."

Do what you want, when you want. Do not conform. Don't work just to collect a paycheck. Do not pass go, but take your $200 anyway. Live your life. 

This is the true meaning of WestSide Culture and why I get up in the morning. It's why Tim Ferris "sells drugs for fun and profit." It's why Taleb is a flaneur, something we could all aspire to be.

Phoenix: Foreclosures and dry heat

So over the weekend my girlfriend and I took a little road trip to Phoenix, which is my former home. It was great to be there during the madness of the Dbacks Brewers series, which will go down as one of the most exciting 5 games ever played. The Arizona State Sun Devils continued their dominanting season with a 35-14 stomping of Utah and the Cardinals were the Cardinals. 34-10. Really? Why even get on the plane, Arizona Cardinals?

I met up with Melanie of WestSide Culture (also a Phoenix resident) and we talked about the site, west coast culture and what its like to live in San Diego, business, sports, foreclosures (grrrrr......) and all the usual musings of life. We enjoyed a Starbucks and I got to meet her daughter who was shy around me. I often have that effect on women.

It was tough for me to move away from Phoenix originally, but San Diego was a no-brainer. I stopped by my old condo in Phoenix (foreclosure, stupid banks) and once I got a look at the property and how it was being kept up, I knew I made the right decision by walking away from it. I also took my French Bulldog to the dog park and although it was only 85 degrees, it felt like 105 with the Arizona Dry Heat Factor. 

Don't get me wrong, I do love Phoenix (mainly because of my family and the sports teams), but compared to all that I have here in SD, there is not even a question as to what place is better.

Now if you'll excuse me, the beach is calling. Oh yeah, and go Devils!

Take a break. Take your dog to the beach.

The other day I had been working on WestSide Culture for about 6 hours straight with no break. I was busy, but was I being productive? After making the same error several times and having to re-do my work yet again, I decided the answer was no. I should know better, the human brain can only work for about 1-2 hours with maximum efficiency without a break. So what did I do?

I went to Sunset Cliffs. It is my favorite spot to get away. Although there are many joggers, bikers, people walking their dogs and tourists (yuck), everyone leaves you alone and lets you focus on your own thing. I decided to throw some headphones on and listen to Rework. (If you have not read Rework - stop what you're doing, click here, go ahead, I trust you to come back, and buy it!) While listening, I walked Aix, my french bulldog, and about every hundred yards, stopped to look at the ocean or sit on a bench. 

It was exactly what I needed. I came back home refreshed, energized and more creative. I'd even come up with a few new ideas when I was out there. It's good for your dog, it's good for you and it really works. So, the next time you're feeling down, stressed, overwhelmed, unproductive, lacking focus or any other negative emotions, hit the beach! If there is not a beach in your town, a park or coffee shop will do. Just make sure the coffee shop is dog friendly. And if you have a frenchie, be prepared to talk to everyone.... they are very popular!

 

Unfortunate Blessings

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Today's blessing came in the form of a burst water pipe and a flooded house. At 4:30am I stepped in a huge puddle. A hallway full of puddle actually. The walls were seeping water and the root was no where to be found.

The plumber came out at 6:30am and confirmed my fears that it was a broken pipe underground. So, the fella locating the break will be at the house at 11am and the plumber will be back according to his schedule later today or sometime tomorrow. In the very near future we will have water again and no broken pipes.

However, the adventure is just beginning. The floors will be tore up and broken into in order to find the source and of course fix it. Avery's bedroom flooring is already soaked through and the Pergo in the family room is currently warping due to the seeping water.

So... those blessings I was talking about... I have not loved my flooring since I bought the home. In fact there are five types of flooring throughout my house. 5! And they are a bit tacky and competing with one another. So... the new adventure I am on is replacing the flooring. Obviously the essential rooms first. But, since the family room connects to the dining room fluidly and there are only two carpeted rooms, it seems like a bite the bullet kind of deal.

And the main blessing... Avery, the pups and I are all SAFE! Though this feels like a disaster now, it certainly isn't the worst thing to ever happen.

...Home Sweet Home Ownership...