When medical science goes wrong

Maybe the title is a bit strong. From my last post you may know I got hit by a couple different issues in the month of February. The standard cold/flu bug that was going around did part two on me and then the pink eye.

Well, I am not a hypochondriac and generally don’t go to the doctor unless it’s necessary. I think the western world and in particular the US has delivered modern miracles to the world in the area of medicine and medical treatment.

In my case (at least the pink eye one) I took my issues to the doctor, he diagnosed it correctly and prescribed antibiotic eye drops to be used every 3 hours while awake. I diligently followed the instructions. When my eyes didn’t recover as my doc projected I let him know. He was very concerned and sent me to an Ophthalmologist today.

I am not allergic to any medicines I am aware of, never have been. Turns out the drops I have been using (EVERY 3 HOURS!!!!) caused a non allergic negative reaction which made my eyes worse. So essentially I have been poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick every 3 hours but the infection has been gone for days.

New anti-inflammatory eye drops prescribed, I hope I am on my way back to normal (one dose and it already feels better).

My point? Just because you don’t think it’s the medicine causing the problem doesn’t mean it isn’t.

Pay attention to your body and communicate with your doctor if he/she is open to it. Mine uses email and we talk regularly between checkups. We have a great gift in what we can receive in terms of diagnosis and treatment but never assume that because a doctor or prescription label says so that will be 100 % true. Stay healthy!


Determination in the face of adversity… or why I choose to sing and dance

Okay, It’s official.

February has been the worst month I have just about ever had. Down for a week with the flu after super bowl, just getting back to normal when I get hit with pink eye and another infection that is, well, just too much info to discuss.

I mean really, how much does one person have to deal with?

Faced with all this bullshit (trust me, a bad case of pink eye will make you want to scoop your eyes out with a melon baller) I felt like punting and chalking up February to a lost cause. But that’s not me. At least that’s not who I think I am. And if I think that’s not me, then it’s not me.

So, rise above. Grip determination by the balls and go to work.

Result: 1 new listing, a buyer that remains in contract with my partner despite multiple delays in lending due to a refinance boom, two new opportunities with a wonderful trust attorney referral source and a call from someone in the past who wants my help convincing an owner of a duplex to sell their property. The interesting thing is this blast from the past had a choice to call a family member who is well known in the business. All of this in the course of 2 and a half weeks when I am operating at less than 50% efficiency and energy.

Everyone of us has a choice in how we deal with the bullshit that life throws our way. I am not trying to say “look at me, I am invincible and you should be too”. What I am saying is, regardless of what is going on, exercise your will against the circumstances. It’s not easy, often it feels like it’s just not worth it. In the end you will respect yourself and feel unbelievably good about choosing to try rather than laying down and giving up. Even if you fail.

Here is a nice piece by Seth Godin that helped withe my circumstances (not just the title of this entry).

Go and have a great day by choice.

Growing a new company

To all of my followers, likes and to those who read this post. It is no secret that one of my objectives with this blog is to connect and grow my business. That business is Real Estate. In 2013 I aligned my brand, Orchard City Homes, with two young, bold and very motivated business men. They founded Mainstream Real Estate Group in Campbell. I have committed to help grow this company and progress is being made.

Mainstream outgrew the office configuration of our Pruneyard Tower 1 marquee space last year and it was remodeled to add 10 new seats. Since the first of this year we have filled 3 of them.


I am very proud to let all my readers know about our expansion into Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz was my stomping ground in the heady surfing days of my youth. Something I am diligently working to bring back. Even though my home and heart are in Campbell, The Orchard City, Santa Cruz is like a second home for me.

So, while I am talking about business today, if you look at my posts in the past you will know that is not the only focus of this outlet for me. Today it is.

If anyone out there needs any help with Real Estate questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me. I can be found here.

Here’s to making 2015 a great year!

Controlled chaos

I think this may be my first weekend post.

This last week was a good one for my blogging work. Multiple posts, varying subjects, increased likes and followers. I’m not in this to measure the followers or likes but that seems to be the way it’s done. I’m writing this blog so I can express myself, as an outlet for my art, whatever form it takes. I’m here to connect and grow my business as well.

I felt there was more in me that needed an outlet and so far this site is working. I thought I would let the folks who have followed me or liked previous posts know a bit more about me.

I have been an avid women’s volleyball fan since my daughter started playing in middle school and then got serious playing club volleyball at 12. She had heart, and skills and was so committed that it took very little for me to get behind it. It was an expensive pastime. There are essentially two tiers in club, at least in our area as governed by the NCVA. My kid played at the upper level, called “power league” from day 1. This meant a higher club membership cost, more travel time and the league tournaments tended to be as much as 3 to 4 hours drive. We played in Las Vegas, Reno, Washington State, Baltimore and a number of other locations. I really got into it, heart, soul and wallet.

The girls on the team my daughter played for always counted on my being at every event, and I was. The big tournaments might have as many as 140 courts set up for teams in the 12, 14, 16 and 18 year old brackets. Then they split into am and pm waves to manage the controlled chaos that comes from an average of 10 girls per team, times the hundreds of teams that signed up to play.

I would walk into a convention center hall, one of several supporting the big tournaments and the many tens of thousands of square feet was nothing but volleyball nets, crammed in as tight as possible. As far as you could see, volleyballs flying around during drills,  prematch warm-ups,  and match play. All you can hear are shouts of players during matches,  whistles being blown by the officials, cheering and the constant din of conversation.

My daughter plays at the collegiate level now as a junior at a peninsula college in the bay area. She now coaches at the club level. I write this today because, it being February, it’s club season. I haven’t seen my daughter play since her season ended at college. It’s a fall sport.

Last weekend I decided I needed a volleyball fix. It happened to be the league #1 tournament for my daughters club team and it was happening at the San Jose Convention Center. So I went. First serve at 8am, it was raining pretty hard.  I packed a camp chair, threw some snacks and fruit, water bottles and my tablet into a backpack and was at the center by 730am. It was a super trip down memory lane and I was so impressed to see my daughter as a coach.  I mentioned this in a previous post.

It was great, I knew I would be doing more spectating to help me get through the doldrums between fall seasons when I get to watch my kid play. This sport has been an integral part of her becoming an outstanding young woman, developing commitment,  heart and staying power (they don’t always win).

Today I am heading up to the San Mateo Convention Center, one of many playing sites for the NCVA/No Dinx Presidents Day tournament. This is one of the big ones. There will be 86 teams at this site, morning and evening waves. We are in the evening wave starting at 3pm. I plan to get my fix. Just to give some scale, below is a picture from last weekends league tournament.  There were only 7 courts.

Thanks to all who take the time to read here. Just to let you know I am working on a short story that I will post before the end of March. Have a great holiday weekend!


Morning in the Orchard City…

I tend to be an early riser and like to get to my office before the day really starts. My office is in the Pruneyard Tower1 in, you guessed it, the Orchard City, Campbell CA. This morning I just happened to be in a spot driving in to see our landmark water tower, of which this blog derives its title, with a nice sunrise background. I haven’t seen it like that in a long time, maybe ever that I can recall and it was a very nice start to my day. I pulled over and took some pictures with my phone (forgive the poor quality, but use your imagination as to how nice the moment was). I hope everyone this post reaches can have as good a start to their day. Stay in the moment today and kick ass!


The unnatural act of waffling

I find inspiration to write in many different places which means I also read a lot. Someone I read regularly (like daily) is Seth Godin. I am not suggesting that he is the end all when it comes to self discovery but his messages usually contain very insightful glimpses into the way the world, people, tribes and individuals behave. His blog today is excellent and until I read it had sort of numbed myself to just how much waffling takes place in my efforts to produce my art and ship my product, whatever that may be at the time. It is truly unusual to get a real, honest commitment that is delivered by someone who will stand behind its outcome.

We hear it every day, from the likes of people that you know and respect and that really do produce good works. We have come to expect a lack of ownership, of responsibility to the point that it feels weird when you actually own your commitments.

I say, stay weird. Own what you do, the commitments you make and be the example of what is missing in most organizations and businesses.

Stormy Santa Cruz

My good friend Liz Kroft is a multi-talented individual that lives in Santa Cruz. One of her talents is a natural ability to take great pictures. Here is one from a storm that passed through our area in the last couple of days (thanks for letting me share Liz). You can find more of her artistic work here.


Stormy Santa Cruz weekend of February 7th and 8th 2015. Courtesy of Liz Kroft

Nostalgia or depression?

Wow, another week has gone by. Down with a cold after a short out of town trip and spent all last week on my couch wondering when my body wold stop producing phlegm. Sorry, I know that’s gross.

Lying on the couch I started thinking about what I wasn’t working on. I own my own business and adjusting to time off that is unexpected is not all that tough but this time I noticed I was focused on dreaded worry. Thoughts like “my year is at risk”, “my pipeline is empty”, “I know I am missing an opportunity”, etc kept running through my mind. Then I started thinking about the past.

Remember how great it was when…..

Then it hit me, am I reminiscing, being nostalgic? Or am I depressed?

I am not a depressed person, never have been, but I do try to stay connected to my moods. I know that when I let worry get ahead of me that I am not focused on the present, on right now. This last little future trip that lead to the past was a reminder that I have a choice in how I feel, cold virus aside.

So, back at it today, in my office because I feel like the worst of the cold is behind me and I want (not need, but there is some of that too) to get on with life. Even in the smallest way, when you engage, when you do something that you have the mindful ability to control, you feel responsible for your outcomes. In my experience I would rather have put in the effort, tried and fail than to sit around and let worry and fear and what-ifs take control. Sometimes, when you try you even win.

P.S. Nostalgia is not always bad and doesn’t always lead to depression. My daughter has been a serious, high level, volleyball player since she was 12 and now plays at the collegiate level on an athletic scholarship. It’s off season right now (it’s a fall sport) so I have been jonesing a bit for some volleyball action. I was feeling well enough yesterday and I took the opportunity to watch my daughter coaching her 16 year old club team play in a league tournament. From 12 year old player to scholarship athlete to head coach, it was a wonderful trip down memory lane and also made a dad proud.