Happy Birthday Ryan!

It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.  ~J.K. Rowling


Ryan’s 3rd birthday party. Upfront: Nicole’s big head, then cousins: Tim, Chad, Jeremy & the birthday boy, Ryan. 9/24/80

Ryan would have been celebrating his 37th birthday today!  He would have loved waking up to his son, Kyle, who is now thirteen and probably went to work, stopping for a beer on the way home, never thinking much of the day.  Like me, Ryan never cared much for birthdays.  Unlike Kyle, who takes the entire month of July to celebrate his.  Granted, Kyle’s a kid, but regardless, Ryan and I still weren’t that interested in our birthdays, except to get our driver’s license and to legally drink.  Although, I was pretty stoked to vote.

Now that my company Thrill of the Hunt is really starting to make some traction, I wonder what Ryan would be doing?

You know, I truly believe Ryan would have started a company too.  He moved on before he had the chance, but Ryan would have been a great businessman!  How do I know?  Easy, Ryan possessed all the qualities of a great entrepreneur, the passion, the ideas, the know how, leadership and most of all the ability to work hard and stick it out, no matter what.  Ryan was never a quitter and there is no one that can say he wasn’t a hard worker.  No one!

Granted, Ryan’s interests in business were very different from mine, but still the same concept regardless.  Early on, Ryan showed an interest in starting a deer butchering business.  Dad told me once, Ryan really considered doing this as a seasonal job.  It’s true, Ryan and dad, heck the rest of the family are very experienced in gutting and butchering deer, plus other game and farm animals.  Yes, we do it all ourselves, every year, even the wrapping and preparing of the deer meat for the freezer, canning it, or making Bologna and/or deer jerky, usually all of the above.  And yes, we have all the equipment to cut up the deer, make ground meat etc.  I believe I knew of Ryan’s idea, but during high school, yes Ryan was in high school and wanted to start the business, I was so involved in my own activities I probably didn’t care much.


We always hung on pap. Left: Nicole, me, Ryan (sucking his finger but trying to hide it), cousins Jeremy & Chad. c. 1980

Why didn’t he do it?  Easy, dad talked him out of it.  Not because dad didn’t think he couldn’t handle the work or make the business a success, nope not at all!  It was quite the opposite.  Dad knew Ryan would have made it into a flourishing business and he would have enjoyed it too.  Yet, dad was being realistic and pointed out that if Ryan was butchering other people’s deer, when would he have time to hunt himself?  Very valid point dad!  You can’t let a deer hang around too long, especially if it’s not gutted and skinned.  Dad’s theory the sooner the better for both.  The butchering and packaging can wait a few days if needed, as long as it’s cold out (our deer hang in the garage).  But sooner or later this needs to be done, and it couldn’t be done with Ryan in the woods hunting, not to mention he was still in high school.

In a way, I wished Ryan would have started the business. I would have most certainly helped!  Actually, at the time I stopped hunting myself and I could have picked up the slack, when it worked with my band and Winterguard schedules.  Ok, perhaps dad was right!

Ryan’s ideas and drive didn’t stop there.  For years, in high school and out, Ryan mowed lawns when he worked for Lester.  In fact, just the other day, dad pointed out Lester’s place as we passed.  I totally forgot Ryan worked for him!  When Ryan lost his driver’s license (a whole separate story) I had to drive him to and from work.  One time, I even gave his dog Jake (he was a beagle that I always fought with) a ride when picking Ryan up.  Anyway, years after Ryan passed, mom said she ran into Lester.  You know what he said about Ryan?  He said that if Ryan would still be living, and decided to start his own lawn business, he would have put Lester out of work.  Seriously, what a compliment!  You know, Lester’s one hundred percent right!  Like I said, Ryan was made to be an entrepreneur.

Sometimes, I think having the ability to start a business is in the DNA.  Ryan was so much like my pappy in many ways.  He was a good person, a truly warm soul with a big heart with drive and a solid work ethic, much like my pappy who started his own business,  a sawmill, Walter Piper & Sons Lumber.  Pappy started the business on a fifth grade education!  Yep!  Basically, pappy knew the timber industry and practically lived in the woods his whole life, but he also would pay attention and made most of the business decisions purely off of gut instincts.  He was even big into marketing, before he knew what marketing was.  Granted, that’s a tough industry and it lasted for years, even after my pappy’s death, but it did eventually come to an end.  Like Ryan, pappy had the entrepreneur spirit in him and he also possessed all the same qualities.  I couldn’t imagine how successful pap would have been, if he had an opportunity to finish high school, let alone further his education.

Would Ryan have paired up with Nicole and myself for Thrill of the Hunt?  Probably not, for it wasn’t really his gig.  But I would have loved to work with Ryan!  There is no doubt he would have helped out if needed.

Ryan never got the opportunity like I did, to start a company.  When he passed away, he worked at a Aggressive Grinding Machine Shop, furthering his career in his trade.  Just like my grandpap Chester, Ryan was a machinist, and from what I was told a very good one.  No matter what, Ryan always did the best he could and took pride in his work.  We all missed out by Ryan’s passing and he is still missed by many, very much!

Happy Birthday Ryan!

posted by auntheather in Education & Learning,Family,Hunting & Fishing,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing,Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunts and have No Comments

Government Shut Down? Not Completely

At times, you must act on principle and not ask what cost, what are the chances of success.  ~New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce


Michael Port,  Jen Laflam, Melanie Spring, Ray Hennessey (moderator) at the Entrepreneur Magazine Thought Leaders Live conference in Arlington, VA 10/10/13

It’s no secret our government missed deadlines to come to a compromise regarding the budget and more importantly the National Healthcare Plan, a.k.a. Obamacare.  So what happens when no decisions are reached and gridlock happens?  I guess Congress calls for a shut down.  Did I really care?  Not really, not until I completely understood what that meant.  After all, the last time this happened to a large extent was in 1994 during the Clinton administration.  I believe we are going on the fourteenth day, but who’s counting.

Do I believe in a shut down, kinda.  I mean if the right decision is being overlooked or cannot be made, why rush into something just to do it?  Like Obamacare.  Come on, it is already proving to not be financially secure or stable.  They can’t even get a website to work correctly, and they expect me to have faith in the extremely large and overly complicated plan?  The majority of the people don’t want it and personally, spending any of my money on medical issues and decisions like abortion is completely against my religion and against everything I believe.  So why should I be forced to support such actions?  My theory?

Obama is on this power trip to get something passed in his name for the sake of his own ego, not for what’s best for the people it’s affecting.  I mean, when he passes a loophole in the law exempting the executive branch and our party leaders from using the very thing he is pushing on all the American people, that’s a red flag to me!

Last Wednesday, I happen to be in the area of all the contrasty, Arlington, Virginia.  Yes I was within a stones throw from the Pentagon building.  On a side note, Kyle commented recently on the design of the Pentagon building saying, “They are stupid, they are wasting so much space with the hole in the middle of the building that they could use!”  That’s my practical buddy.  He is not about design, but about function.


Jen Laflam, Melanie Spring, Ray Hennessey (moderator) at the Entrepreneur Magazine Thought Leaders Live conference in Arlington, VA 10/10/13

I was attending the Entrepreneur Magazine Thought Leaders Live conference.  It was a really great morning of learning from other successful business leaders and networking.  I made some really good contacts and gained a better insight on how to be a better leader and business owner.  On another side note, maybe the entire government should have attended as well.

Much of what was discussed, was already in my practice, but it’s still a good reminder.  Author and speaker Micheal Port was there and gave a very powerful and insightful speech on booking clients.  Not just getting them, but actually booking them.  I love Entrepreneur Magazine and they always bring credible resources and information to the forefront, especially for young start-ups like myself.  But as I sat there, I wondered what these business leaders thought of all this crap in our Nation’s Capital.

Getting down to the Washington D.C. area, especially in the rain, was a little bit of a challenge, nothing that my GPS couldn’t handle.  Although at one point, I missed my exit, not so clearly directed by the GPS and I drove upon a closed road, going toward Arlington Cemetery.  Yep, I was not allowed to cross in.  There were even guards reinforcing this order, no doubt given by the president himself.  So why?  It’s a cemetery, a public place where others have loved ones buried there.  To me that was insane!  I’ve never heard of a public cemetery being closed down, let alone guards stationed there.  Probably paid workers.  (Which I’m happy they have work and are getting paid to do a job!  I do have issues with those that get paid without working.  Big issues!)

So let me get this straight, the government is closed down and most hard working employees are not getting paid, but the government picks and chooses some individuals to get paid, to guard against the public visiting public sights that tax payers invested in over the years?  And let’s not forget, our government officials are still getting paid.  For what?  To argue? To make these horrible decisions?

My mom told me about a story she heard on the news.  I guess this family goes overseas every year to France (don’t quote me on the country) to visit family buried there.  What a great sentiment!  Anyway, who would have thought that a burial sight or monument was shut down too!  They traveled all that way to visit a public place to pay their respects to our fallen soldiers who were ordered to go to war and give their lives defending our freedom, and they couldn’t get in?  This is all becoming very unnerving.  Is there no respect?  I guess, it seems like the American people are not being respected, so I guess how can I expect those making the decisions to give the dead any respect.  Shame!


Michael Port (Author, Actor, Speaker) at the Entrepreneur Magazine’s Thought Leaders Live conference in Arlington, VA 10/10/13

Basically, the executives, a.k.a. the president and his constituents seem like he and they are just proving a point and flaunting their power with these stupid declarations.  I know, everyone will say it’s the Republicans who shut down the government, yet someone is proving their own point with these shut down choices and difficulties.  Maybe for a personal agenda?  To prove a point like a spoiled child?  Maybe if the president really cares about his bill, take a stand for it!  Show us your passion and dedication to it.  Use Obamacare for your entire family, be treated like any other person, maybe show your concern for those not getting paid because of the shut down and give up your very own pay to them!  Or is he not that dedicated to this country?  To the people?

Why can’t veterans, who have served their country and those who lost family and friends who honorably and graciously served our country, visit the dead?  Why are they banned from entering memorials erected to honor this service?  I understand about not having the public roaming around inside buildings for safety sake and to protect the integrity of the area, but outside in public sites?

Another true story.  A gentlemen took it upon himself, without being told, without pay, to mow our lawns around our National Monuments in the Washington D.C. area.  He didn’t want to be embarrassed by such disgrace.  He was showing true pride and patriotism in our country!  That is the American way!  Get off your butts and do something without expecting anything in return.  Stop with the hand outs!  I believe no one is too good or too high on their pedestal to get their hands dirty.  I do it personally!  And I am proud to be a hard worker!

Then I heard of a bunch of runners running in a “closed” area and each of them getting a hundred dollar fine.  Really?  Come on!  This is just nitpicking and again proving a point.  Spend the money for these officials to capture bad guys, not people who are trying to maintain good heath, so they don’t have to use Obamacare.  Or is this a conspiracy for more government control over our health?  Sounds silly, but is it?


Michael Port, Jen Laflam, Melanie Spring, Ray Hennessey (moderator)  at the Entrepreneur Magazine Thought Leaders Live conference in Arlington,  VA 10/10/13

In a way, it sounds like a way to point fingers and blame others.  After all, the truth is, this wouldn’t happen without a good leader, or if it did, it would find a resolution sooner than later.  Plus why are these government officials still getting paid!?

I was lucky, after the conference, I was able to leave the immediate area and head back to my sister’s pad, where I had a puppy named Avery waiting for me to take her for a walk.  I love taking our dogs Seven and Scooby for a walk, just not on a leash.  I also never have to clean up their waste that exists their rear ends.  No it’s true, I take my boys to the woods where they can run free, up to eye shot from me and do their business by other wild animals’ businesses on the forest floor.  So this was a bit gross and new for me, but I semi-managed.  Nicole called me while on our return trip back to ask if Avery was alright.  Seriously?  I’m walking the dog in the rain, and cleaning up her waste.  She should have asked if I was alright!

Ironic I’m reverting back to talking about crap, and the one who is cleaning up the crap.  Me!  The little person on the totem pole.  The similarities are amazing to how the American people are being treated.

I don’t mind road trips, in fact I love them.  This was a small adventure that opened my eyes. In stead of focusing on my own piece of the world, I saw things without the veil.  Don’t get me wrong, I hope eventually the information I heard and the contacts I made at the conference will help Thrill of the Hunt, but I believe there is no hope for my start-up company if we don’t have a rock solid country to work in.

Recently, I read an article commenting on… To Be Continued!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,News,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Travels and have No Comments
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