Lyrics Post: Cheeseburger In Paradise”

There’s this song I memorized a long time back. I’ve sang it a thousand times if not a once. It still makes me smile. And it still makes me hungry. Thank You, Jimmy Buffett!

“Cheeseburger In Paradise”

Tried to amend my carnivorous habits
Made it nearly seventy days
Losin’ weight without speed
Eatin’ sunflower seeds
Drinkin’ lots of carrot juice and soakin’ up rays

But at night I’d have these wonderful dreams
Some kind of sensuous treat
Not zucchini, fettuccini, or bulgur wheat
But a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat

Cheeseburger in paradise
Heaven on earth with an onion slice
Not too particular, not too precise
I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise

Heard about the old-time sailor men
They eat the same thing again and again
“Warm beer and bread,” they say, “could raise the dead”
Well, it reminds me of the menu at a Holiday Inn

But times have changed for sailors these days
When I’m in port I get what I need
Not just Havanas or bananas, or daiquiris
But that American creation on which I feed

Cheeseburger in paradise
Medium rare with mustard’d be nice
Heaven on Earth with an onion slice
I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise

I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good god almighty, which way do I steer…

…for my cheeseburger in paradise?
Makin’ the best of every virtue and vice
Worth every damn bit of sacrifice
To get a cheeseburger in paradise
To be a cheeseburger in paradise
I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise

I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good god almighty, which way do I steer?

Writer(s): BUFFETT, PUTNAM, 1978

How We Spend Time

I’ve got an annual trip coming up with a few good friends from college. We’ve gotten together every year for the better part of 20 years, to catch-up, enjoy the coast, and generally ground ourselves. It’s a great time, and I feel super-blessed every year I get the chance to be with these guys.

And on a seemingly unrelated topic, a friend of mine lost her husband suddenly about a year ago. Thinking about that anniversary, and this piece below she wrote as a tribute to their marriage and years together…

Makes me even more thankful for these friends I see every year, and,

also the blessing of my own family, my wife and our kids.

I feel blessed and humbled and grateful all the more acutely each year when I’m away from them for this trip. I’m lucky to have the people I do in my life, both friends and especially my family.

So, these may seem like a non-sequitur, but the two circumstances that connect in my mind. And too, they give me the chance to share this powerful reflection from my friend about life with her husband.

All I can say after this? GOD BLESS.

“A Ballad of John and Les”

We planned a life together
of that there was no doubt.
Three little darlings in under four years,
that’s what our life became all about.

There was loving, fighting, sharing and all that drama,
sports, Scouts, dance and homework,
the Noone Children Challenging Chore Chart.
We did it all but it sometimes felt berserk.

Engineering was your job while I simply worked part time.
You didn’t mind when money ran short.
You knew I was happy mostly just being the mom.
Though CVC wanted pricey fun things. Well, that was their report.

Our favorite songs and moments others hardly knew—
Dumbledore, “Camelot”, “24601”, “Your hand feels so grand in mine.”
“Tradition”, War and Peace (you read such difficult stuff!) but when
“Same Time Next Year” or “Beauty and the Beast” was on, you were giving me a sign.

The kids, they grew and moved away; then the devil, Northrup Grumman, let you go
leaving you with the deepest kind of sadness in your heart.
Foothill’s changing; it became a place I didn’t want to be:
Retirement became the goal, our better life now about to start.

Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, oh, that emerald isle.
Nancy and Kent, Kevin and Mo, with our friends we made that trip.
It was beautiful, lovely, joyous and green.
We got through two cancers to do it, happy enough to flip.

The house, the yard got all spruced up
for the wedding coming soon.
Chelsea married Vivek, all full of love.
Then we took our best trip in June.

Lewis and Clark and Ole Muddy sent us on that course, a journey.
Fifteen different states and Canada, too,
Rivers’ confluences, US Parks, friends and family, elk,
Waterfalls, museums, and mini-hikes. All beautiful? True.

John, 2017, so much time spent on the Ride4Diabetes,
Lions’ Thanksgiving Food Drive, Project Linus, fights and more.
Then March ’18: our 40-year anniversary, Disneyland, gorgeous ring and
yes, I will still need you when I’m 64.

The big anniversary still carried on; it was time for more vacation
Europe called us over once again.
Yachts, Croatia, broken crown, Bled’s Castle, Dolomites, to Venice, Cinque Terra, the farm.
A lovelier time? I can’t say when.

Mark and Voni were engaged, Chels and Vivek married one year, Chris attending college.
We came home, said, “Hi!” and “Europe was amazing to behold.”
Then off to Mass. and cousins galore, lobster on the Cape, bathroom repairs,
swimming and “Surprise, you’re 65 years old!”

New York with James and Sue, the Lake, the Erie Canal.
We saw the house, Roxie and Big bro’s train set,
Drove all over the place till we tried a new dessert.
Frozen custard could well be the best yet!

In New Hampshire, George and Linda own a cabin in the woods.
They took us to freezing Mt. Washington by train.
We saw a regal hotel, a pub and went on a moose hunt, by god,
We held baby Londyn then off to the plane.

Home for less than three weeks. He off with the boys
for golf and beer, I with the girls for lunch and wine.
I had such a great day with my girls
Believing that you, too, were fine.

Chelsea gave birth to Arya in April; you never even knew.
Voni married Mark in Montana; I walked her down the aisle.
You’d have loved that little girl so much and she’d have adored you.
Veronica Beth wanted her dad that day; she’d have had a bigger smile.

It’s been 13 months-plus, alone at 63.
I don’t know what to do or who to be
or why you are gone
and left without me.

We had our life planned together to play, to laugh,
to grow old and to sigh
about our aches and pains.
I didn’t even get to say good-bye.

I grieve and I cry.
And I still don’t know why.

by L. Noone 9/30/2019

“Patience is a Virtue”

Another lesson from my grandma comes to mind frequently. Why? Because I find myself oft repeating the phrase to my kids. Mind you, they’re little kids, so I’m pretty sure they don’t understand the context. That said, I use the words regularly:

“Patience is a virtue.”

Not sure whether grandma got it from the epic poem, Psychomachia, or otherwise it just came to her mind from other reading…but it has stuck with me for the better part of fifty years.

And it’s true. Nurture and fortify you practice of patience, and your life will be infinitely better.

So regardless of the origin, I’m going to keep repeating, and with those words try to shape my kids’ behavior — or better stated, REACTION — to the inevitable delays we face in getting what we want (if at all).

This life skill goes right along with the concept of Delayed Gratification. This practice will also serve you well. It’s absolutely related. And it’s absolutely helpful to being happy.

Thanks, Grandma.

More on the Seven Virtues? HERE.

More on Delayed Gratification? HERE.

Not Ready? Let it Soak

Grandma Lucille’s wisdom regarding washing dishes, pots, and pans that weren’t quite ready to get clean?

Let it soak.

Good advice that applies not only to dishes, but other aspects of life as well.

In a rut with a relationship? Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and give it some time.

Stumped with particularly challenging problem you’re working on, a temporary pause in efforts might help.

Running low on inspiration, ease off the gas pedal in your efforts, allow some room to breath.

These two phrases are cliche for a reason: they are true. Life’s not a sprint, but a marathon. It’s the journey too, and not the destination only that matters.

Not quite ready? Let it soak.

The Harvest is Abundant

“The harvest is abundant but there are few laborers.” So explained Jesus his way to his friends in the Book of Luke. I found this entry when I was thinking about my Sunday post. I’ve been looking forward each week to find some glimmer of insight to share from the regular Sunday readings.

This time around, I decided to check my trusty Jesuit smart phone app that has daily readings and reflections. Their compiled and maintained by The Center for Spirituality at Fairfield University. It’s a handy source of insight and reflection.

The Jesuits doing it again, meeting us where we are to consider and live our faith in a very real and immediate manner, every day.

In any event, this passage from Luke had me thinking about the call Jesus has for us to living a life of faith; it’s not an easy endeavor, to be sure. And I don’t just mean faith in God, in Jesus, in the usual way we talk about faith in religion. I was also thinking about faith in our decisions, faith in our partner, in our path, just everywhere faith might come into play.

At the end of the day, I live my life by faith. I make choices based on what I believe to be true, but also about what I have faith in happening. For better or worse, that’s my approach. I sometimes have faith (hope?) that something will turn out a particular way, and thus remain committed in spite of other possible outcomes, etc. As U2 sang in “Hawkmoon 269”,

“…like faith needs doubt, like a freeway out, I need your love…”

Like faith needs doubt…there is always doubt where there is faith, they go together. And I like the other sentiment too…

I need your love. Yes indeed, we all need love. And that is what Jesus was talking about through the rest of that reading. Where ever you find faith, wherever you find love, wherever people treat you in a reasonable way…bless them, and be thankful.

And the others? Have faith it will turn out as it should otherwise.

AMEN.

Comfort Zone

This weekend there is a Fall Festival at our kids’ elementary school. I’m volunteering to work for an hour in the afternoon.

Stepping out of the comfort zone.

Friday I took the day off to go with our younger daughter to a pumpkin patch with her class. I didn’t know any parents of the kids in her class. But I came out of the experience a little more in touch, and with a little more sense of how her classmates are, how her teacher is, and yes, met a couple parents too.

Again that comfort zone was in play, and I ignored it and stretched myself again.

In the morning Saturday two of our kids are playing soccer; it’s maybe their sixth game. My wife is the coach. It’s her second year. Both of us are a little out of our comfort zone. The important parts? Being together as a family, supporting each other, and the kids too.

Learning therein. Setting an example thereby.

Meeting new people. Overcoming the butterflies in the tummy. Helping others. Helping our kids.

GOOD.

De la Cruz

Actually this piece should be entitled, “De la Cruz and Rosa, Too.”

I’ve grown up with the first name in my life for a long time. In the city I’m from, there is a major road that runs north/south that bears this name. It runs by the airport.

The English translation of “De la Cruz” is “Of The Cross” — obviously a Christian connotation. There are other variations in other languages that come from cultures particularly influenced by Christianity.

The theme of this piece might very well align with a central concept from Christianity (among certain other philosophies, too):

The idea is quite simple; it’s the intent of helping others, and making great efforts in this regard.

It’s about being ready and willing to lend a hand, both hands, one’s whole self if necessary, for the betterment of those you live and work with.

Honoring a couple people I work with is the intent and purpose of this post. Plain and simple, with not fluff or fancy, no pretense, no puff.

I work with a guy and a gal who work hard, bust their butts, hustle, and are always getting things done.

De la Cruz is one; Rosa is the other. They come through when needed. They are the doers. The are pleasant. They smile. Sometimes they even check in to be sure everything is ok. They both seem ready and able to do what is needed for the business.

I’m super grateful to know them both. I’m super grateful I work with them. I’m super grateful when they come through. I’m just grateful. For De la Cruz. And Rosa too.

They are solid workers. They are solid people. De la Cruz and the cross, Rosa and the rose. The imagery of the cross as above. The imagery of the rose also apropos: bright and offering a near limitless image of strength.

#gratitude

Lyrics Post: “Mysterious Ways”

U2. Achtung, Baby!

So many good songs.

“…if you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel, on your knees, boy…” I love this line. I love the image, I love the instruction, I love the beat it goes along with.

Here’s the rest of the song. From 1991 to today, still gets my toe tapping, and lifts up my spirit.

“Mysterious Ways”

Johnny take a walk
With your sister the moon
Let her pale light in
To fill up your room
You’ve been living underground
Eating from a can
You’ve been running away
From what you don’t understand
Love She’s slippy
You’re sliding down
She’ll be there
When you hit the ground

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways

Johnny take a dive
With your sister in the rain
Let her talk about the things
You can’t explain
To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel (on your knees boy!)She’s the wave
She turns the tide
She sees the man inside the child, yeah

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways
It’s alright,…

BATCHUSR

There are lots of benefits to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a manufacturing environment. One of the more fundamental ways I’ve experienced it being helpful to is with reporting.

Massive amounts of data exist when a company runs their processes and related data through an ERP system. It follows then that business people in various disciplines within the organization can use the data to (hopefully) optimize their work efforts for the good of the business.

“BATCHUSR” is the generic, automated entity within the system that generates reports that have been set up.

There’s the rub.

If the report is set-up properly, it can be a super-big help. If the report isn’t set-up properly, or of the data capture parameters are forgotten or otherwise of no use any longer, it’s just another data set.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

What data you put in, the validity and thoroughness of said information, that reflects on the value of the reporting you’re able to generate from such a system.

Another example? There’s a large data set that has been historically created in the system in a manner that includes an arbitrary entry.; it was thought previously that the entry in that field in the system was not important.

We recently decided, for the good of overall and more accurate evaluation of the information, we decided we had to update the entry for this particular field, a specific date entry, for each line item.

There are several hundred line items that need to therefore be updated. Manually. One by one. Let me say that again. ONE. BY. ONE. You might guess I’m the one who’s doing that updating? If you did, you would be correct.

In the end it’s still the humans that evaluate the data and enter that data and determine if it’s helpful. And if it’s not? It’s the human that spends the time making the corrections. It’s the humans that decide. And then it’s the human that has to hunker down, take a few deep breaths, and do focused entry of line item data to complete the project.

It’s the humans that are responsible.

That said, I need another coffee.

: – )

Addendum Lesson:

What is an ERP system?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is erp_vin.jpg

Up and Down

Thinking back to a ride in Disneyland recently. It was one of the few our son would go on, given his place in time and space and thrill tolerance. We went up and down on this one as we spun around at a reasonable (but not scary) clip. Looking through the pictures, it has me considering the parallel imagery to life.

Ups and downs are part of every day; it’s how we approach them that makes all the difference.

Sometimes we can see it coming; sometimes we’re taken by surprise. If we know a particular situation is around the bend, we can maybe prepare. It’s a little like waiting in line to get on a thrill ride. You can see it coming; you can think about how you’re going to handle the excitement, the G-forces, maybe the unexpected otherwise.

Other times, things might be going along perfectly fine, and then WHAM!, a downer might just land right in front of you, demanding your attention and response. Maybe the circumstance is the exact opposite of what you were expecting; all the more unnerving it might be. You might be caught flat-footed, unsure, confused.

In either instance the main points are the same: Don’t panic. Keep your cool. Take a few deep breaths. Consider your options. Then, make the best decision you can.

Up or down, it’s up to you. Get on the ride, and enjoy!