Craigslist redemption

Piano keys and sheet musicIn my blog post, BEWARE of this Craigslist scam, I highlighted an online crime that almost succeeded in robbing one of my family members.  He posted a piano for sale – a piano that needed quite a bit of work to make it operational – and he almost got taken to the cleaners.  (Read the BEWARE article for the details.)

A couple weeks later, a true lover of all-things piano contacted my family member and said he was interested in purchasing the piano and he and his wife wanted to have a look-see.  The couple arrived – a couple in their 80s – and when the husband took one look at the beat up piano he said, “You’ve got a deal!”

Piano restorationIt turns out, this fellow is an expert at restoring pianos.  For years now, he’s been buying pianos that are on their last legs; he restores them and gives them to children who would otherwise not be able to own a piano.  What a fabulous gift these future piano virtuosos – and their parents – receive because of this couple’s “ministry” of helping young musicians.

I’m thrilled I was able to provide this Craigslist redemption story that – in my mind – wipes out the bad taste in my mouth from the previous one.






A Love Letter to Coach Carroll


I promise after Super Bowl XLIX I’ll have less football-centric posts, but until that time, here’s another. This post by Richard Sherman one year ago was his opportunity to thank Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll for being a winning coach both on the field and off. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: football isn’t just about beating people up on the playing field. Coach Carroll gets that, and so do his team players.

Originally posted on The MMQB with Peter King:

I was a high school junior when I first met him. I got pulled out of class unexpectedly to see him waiting in the hallway—Pete Carroll, national championship-winning head coach. We stood and talked there by the lockers for a few minutes. I’ll never forget that—USC’s head coach coming to recruit me at Dominguez High School in Compton in 2004. At the time, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

He said, “you’ve got the perfect size to be a lock-up corner.” I’d never heard that before: “lock-up” corner. I made ‘lockup2006’ my email address and used it until I got to college. I didn’t end up going to USC, because my mind was already made up to go to Stanford, and there was no way I was passing up the opportunity to get a Stanford education, but I could tell then there was something that separated…

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Are you a listener?

Talking and listeningAnd when you think you’re listening, are you really listening or are you constructing a response to the person who is talking to you?  All the instructional teachings I’ve read about being fully present in any given situation indicate that true listening can’t afford the luxury of distraction.

True listening honors the person with whom you’re connecting.  Conversely, being distracted reveals ones disregard for someone.

But it’s hard to actively listen; I can’t turn down the volume of my thoughts; my self gets in the way.

Hear no evil etcListening isn’t just about using one of your five senses.  Listening also means that you’re in tune to what’s being said and to what others need from you in any given moment.

The following is a quote that encourages a greater emphasis on the art of listening:

For me to grow, I listen … I do a lot of soul-searching and just watch and try to feel what’s going on.

Sage words spoken by someone who’s considered one of the deep thinkers in his field of expertise: Earl Thomas, III, Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety and one of the most feared defensive backs in the NFL.

I bet you didn’t see that coming.

Football isn’t just about being beat up on the playing field.  It’s about teamwork and active participation in the lives of those with whom you work.

See also:





It’s About More than Me


Forgive me those of you who are not Seahawks fans, but here’s another article about teamwork and community that relates to football AND life in general. Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seahawks, is a guest columnist for this Sports Illustrated blog.

Originally posted on The MMQB with Peter King:

This story appears in the February 2 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Last season, while I was posing for magazine covers and calling out wide receivers in unconventional ways, I was also negotiating for an extension on my rookie contract. Seahawks general manager John Schneider asked me an important question: “Who are you going to be when you get paid?” As a fan, you’ve seen the scenario play out dozens of times—PlayerX gets a megadeal and never lives up to the paycheck; he stops playing hard and starts making business decisions with his body. I told John that I’m not playing football for the money, that I want to be the best to ever play. I said, “I’ll be the guy who has $50million in the bank and plays like he has $5.”

My coach, Pete Carroll, says I’ve grown up since that breakout year, and to an extent…

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The team mindset

TeamworkHow Legion of Boom’s message of brotherhood helped save the Seahawks’ season | Larry Stone | The Seattle Times.  Larry Stone, sports writer at the Seattle Times newspaper, wrote an inspiring column that highlights the “us” philosophy of the Seattle Seahawks team.  Note: this is not just an article about football – it’s much, much more.  I addressed a similar message in my article: Teamwork: playing nice together.  Here’s an excerpt from that article:

Working in tandem is effective only when each person grabs a hold of the baton for their portion of the project.  In relay racing, one person doesn’t run the entire race, everyone does their part; no single effort is worth more than the other.

When you read Larry Stone’s and my articles (both attached above) you’ll come to the conclusion that the principle that is being proposed is not just football-related, it’s also society-related.  Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

I started the month by providing some good, clean adult humor.  Here’s another to end the month:

Metal SunTwo IRS agents were traveling through a rural area when their car broke down.  They walked to a nearby mansion and knocked on the door.  A beautiful widow answered and said they were welcome to spend the night while her hired hands worked on the car.

Months later one of the agents received a package of legal documents.  After surveying the contents, he quickly called the other agent.

“When we were up in the country,” the first agent asked, “did you slip away in the night and go to the widow’s bedroom?”

“Yes,” the second agent admitted.

“Did you use my name?”

“Why, yes, but how’d you find out?”

“She died and left me her estate.”


Football 2I’d like to shift the focus from footballs and their degree of inflation, to “indecent” gestures that draw fines.  In particular, let’s look at the actions of running back, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks.  This beast of a Seahawks player has been fined twice this season – so far – for “grabbing his crotch” after making touchdowns.  Interesting.

The NFL is so hell-bent on harassing Marshawn, that in addition to fining him for not talking to the media in the manner expected of him, they’ve taken to harassing him for adjusting his cup in public.

Wait a minute, Irene.  What he did was obscene.  He touched his crotchal area and moved it up and down.

Continue reading