Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My husband is jealous of my GPS Man!

Another marathon day come and gone. Monday was a blur...meeting, meeting, budgets, board of directors nominations, meeting, meeting, drive to SAC airport to pick up teenage units, drive to Sausalito to drop off teenage units, sleep 5 hours, drive home to get to work! My life is so glamorous!

My husband and I are polar-opposites when it comes to traveling. He attempts to beat his personal best time every time we travel anywhere....even if he' s never been to that destination before. I like to take my time. He likes to arrive early to everything, I'm more of a right-on-time kind of gal. Because he's an Eagle Scout (honestly), you can give him a compass and a map and he'll navigate the straightest, flattest, bestest, quickest way to anywhere. Me, not so much. He says that watching me read a map is like watching a monkey do a math problem. He's probably right.

So, what does a resourceful, forward-thinking, organized gal do when she is navigationally challenged? Get GPS navigation on my cell phone of course! It's one of the best purchases I've ever made. Seriously.

The first thing I did was reprogram the voice from the moderately bitchy female voice it came with to a smooth-talking male genre. Much easier to take, especially when it says "you missed the turn....recalculating route". Female voices simply cannot pull-off that comment without crossing over to the world of annoying.

I now discretely smile when my handsome hubby ignores Mr. Sexy GPS voice and gets us lost, or worse...takes a route that costs us precious milliseconds of travel time. Clearly, I am passive-aggressive because I enjoy watching him try to outsmart my phone.

Wouldn't it be great if someone would invent a new application for our smart phones to help us navigate the new economy? Think about it...no more missed turns...no more bad decisions...just point the device to "success" and follow the smooth-talking voice to the end of the rainbow. Magic!

Now that would be a big seller. But it's about as likely as sinking a hole-in-one on the day you win the Lotto, just before you get struck by lightening. Yup...that slim.

I don't have a smooth-talking navigator to direct success, but I do have a database chock full of successful business people right here in Chico, and I happen to know many of them are happy to help others find their own way to success. It's called the Chico Chamber of Commerce. Navigate your way to our office in Downtown Chico and check us out. We're waiting to help YOU!

In the meantime, I'm going to try to find and even sexier voice for my GPS system. Does anyone know how I can download Sean Connery's accent....?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Many Rocket Scientists Does It Take....?

So, by now we've all heard the story about how someone at NASA 'taped over' the 1969 Moon Landing of Apollo 11. Wow...can you imagine the 'walk-of-shame' that guy made on his way to his supervisors office to explain how one of the most important events in human history no longer exists? Man, what a moment THAT must have been.

Honestly. What could they have been thinking? They spend half-a-million dollars on a pair of space gloves, but they can't afford to send someone to Radio Shack to buy a dozen blank tapes?

And what, exactly, was so darned important that they had to reuse a tape that contained footage of something of that magnitude? Were we creating history somewhere else in the world, or was there just a really great episode of The Monkeys on TV? I was a big fan of Davey Jones too, but good God man...use some common sense!!

I'm poking fun at someone I don't even know, which certainly isn't very gracious of me. In my defense, I'm just trying to find the humor in everything these days. I have to admit that my husband and I did have a good belly-laugh over this, though.

I wrote last week that I was concerned about the level of down-right anger there is out there. Could be the heat, could be the economy, but whatever it is I have vowed to put an end to it in my little corner of the world. I will continue to look for the funny side of whatever happens (unless it truly is a human tradgedy of course).

I will start by laughing at myself, often, and stop taking myself so seriously. Because truthfully, on the larger scale I'm not important enough to most people to be taken seriously anyway. I can always laugh at (and more importantly, with) my husband. Many people who know him don't realize that he is a truly funny guy with a dry sense of humor that can buckle my knees most days.

I probably won't laugh at my teenage daughters very often. As I've written before...they are seventeen-year-old high school seniors, and therefore have no discernible sense of humor. Most particularly when the humor is directed at them by an adult. Simply NOT funny!

I can laugh at my son, though. He's hysterical. If he weren't such a great firefighter he'd be a decent stand-up comedian.

Luckily, the folks that work at the Chamber all possess a jolly sense of humor. We laugh at each other all the time, and everyone takes it in stride. I usually laugh with and at Alice. She's a hoot...and tells us she is a self-proclaimed Bridget Jones. I would PAY to read her diary!

So, this post is going nowhere fast. I think I should just end by asking everyone to LIGHTEN UP FOR HEAVENS SAKE! Life's funny...find a laugh in it. When you're laughing, it's virtually impossible to be annoyed...let alone angry!

Now I'm off to Radio Shack to order a box of blank tape for NASA. They can use it to record new episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Temperature vs. Temper

Wow...it got really hot really fast. No big surprise. It's summer in NorCal. But I swear, as long as I've lived here (every one of my 49 years), I will never fall in love with the hot, hot weather. Anywhere below 95 degrees is tolerable, above that it's just sweaty, and not in a good way.

The heat makes a lot of folks cranky. No wonder. Your feet burn on the sidewalk, your legs stick to the seat of your car, your hair gets matted down and your clothes feel like lead. It's not pretty. But it's still no good reason to behave like an uncivilized boob!

I'm concerned by the level of anger I feel in the atmosphere lately. It might have something to do with the heat, tempers seem to rise with the temperature. But I think it's just as likely due to the uncertainty in our economy. It seems to be downright fearful out there. People are wondering..."will I still have a job tomorrow?"..."will my business survive?"..."where can I turn for help?"..."why won't that idiot hurry up and get out of the sidewalk so I can get to my meeting on time?"...(oops, that's a story for another blog entry).

A couple of things are certain. The first is that things will continue to be UNcertain for a while. The second is that getting angry with others is NOT going to help.

I would like the Chamber to be an oasis from the anger and fear. A place where folks who are concerned about the future can pull together and give each other a lift. It seems counter-intuitive to me to be fiercely competitive in a market like this. Competitors should be dropping their guard and offering a hand up to others. It sounds corny but it's true..."United We Stand, Divided We..."well, I don't even want to say it out loud.

So if you're feeling like you're on your own out there, come by and see us. We want to give you a lift, point you in a different direction, network you with some folks that can help. We won't just whistle a happy tune and pretend "it's all good", we will try to help you find some real solutions to your real challenges. Don't get mad....get connected!!

My goal is to keep a lid on the fear and anger no matter how high the temperature rises. To be more tolerant and kind. To be helpful whenever I can to whomever I can. And to hope everyone else will do the same.

Random thought....."Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be GRACIOUS if it kills you!" (Elsie De Wolfe).

If we can be gracious under pressure (and in 103 degree heat), we can do any damned thing we set our minds to. Take THAT, you lousy economy!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Is neglecting your blog a criminal offense yet? It might be soon...I heard yesterday you can be arrested for drinking alcohol before you nurse your baby. Of course, if you're not smart enough NOT to drink excessive alcohol while feeding Jr., maybe being arrested isn't your biggest worry. But I digress....

I have been neglecting my Blog and I feel just horrible about it. Well maybe not horrible, but certainly lazy. I took a week vacation and went to the mountains with my handsome hubby. We had kids coming and going throughout the week and we thoroughly enjoyed being out of the valley during the over-100-degrees-days.

Back to work now and ready to train our new Concierge Corps! I'm really excited about this new program. We have been able to add some needed hours to our Visitor Center operation by enlisting some of the dedicated volunteers that are part of our Chamber Ambassadors and Board of Directors. What a swell bunch of folks...honestly...these are salt-of-the-earth kinds of people!

When I initially put out the call for volunteers to help us staff on Saturdays to greet visitors and help them find their way around, I was fully prepared to twist some arms. Happily, but not surprisingly, that was completely unnecessary! I simply asked the question "who wants to help" and dozens of hands flew into the air. So...braid my hair and call me Pollyanna...I think this idea is going to work. You have got to just LOVE Chico!

The summer is upon us although you can hardly tell by the "Chamber of Commerce Weather" we're enjoying. Tell all your out-of-town friends that if they don't visit Chico this summer, they're INSANE! It's so lovely here and there is SO MUCH TO DO! How much, you ask? Well come on down to the Chamber office and pick up one of our brand new "StayCation Central" itinerary brochures. It will give you all the tips you need to have a great time in-and-around Chico while you help bolster the local economy. If you come by on Saturday, you can say hello to one of our Concierge Corps!

On my honor, I will try, to do my best to not neglect my Blog. Especially on such a significant day as this. Today is 7-8-9.

What were you doing today at 12:34.56 PM on 07-08-09? (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9).

I was celebrating the arrival of my grand-nieces, Isabella Grace and Emma Rose, born at 12:20 this afternoon and tipping the scales at over 6 pounds each! Yep...you can call me Great-Auntie Jo. My niece Morgan did a stellar job delivering her two little beauties. Nicely done sweetheart, and welcome to the world you little angels!