Uh-Oh! A Non-Smoker in the Smoking Area

This is a designated smoking area

Non-smokers not welcome!

I’m in the process of writing my second book.  The current title is, “Yanks in the Outback.”  Secondary title, “Gulf War Diary, Feb 1990 – Apr 1991.”  It’s a fictional story based on my real life experience when stationed in Woomera, South Australia with the US Air Force.

It’s in diary format for several reasons.  First, I did keep a diary and I’m using some of the entries.  Second, it’s much easier to write that way … I feel more free to express myself.

I’m in the process of editing and reviewing it now and came across this particular entry that I’d like to share.  It all started when I – a non-smoker – decided to head out to the smoking area …

Smoking Area Incident
17 May 1990: Thursday

I went somewhere today that I’ve never been before. A place reserved for special people. I am not a special person and the folks in the “special” area let me know it.

What is this special place?

None other than the designated smoking area!

Why did I go there?

Glad you asked.

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So Glad Ohio State Won …

Field Goal

Ohio State Football – serious business!

I was very glad to hear Ohio State won the college football national championship yesterday.  It’s a much better feeling than when the team is not doing so well.

And, I remember when the team wasn’t doing so well.  One moment in particular is the Liberty Bowl on 29 Dec 1990.  I was stationed in Woomera, South Australia when I got the devastating news.

I’ve captured the moment in diary format.  This entry is a few days after the game and describes how I felt when told the sad news …


3 Jan 1991:  Thursday – Woomera, South Australia

Hit a low point today.

Walked onto the ops floor and right into the middle of a college football conversation.  I just  listened until one of the guys on the lower dais yelled out, “Hey Lt Ives, how about those Buckeyes?”

Somehow he knew I was an Ohio State grad.  I hadn’t been following the season so I asked, “What about them?  Did they win?”

His answer caused my knees to buckle, “Are you kidding?  They lost to the Air Force Academy!”

At that moment my core beliefs were shaken.  How could my Ohio State Buckeyes lose to the Air Force Academy?  That’s like the New England Patriots getting beaten by the local high school team; can’t happen; not possible.

Ohio State has probably got 20 pounds per man over the Air Force Academy front line.  All Ohio State has to do is knock them over and even I could run through the resulting hole.

I wanted to hide.

I remembered back to my last year at Ohio State in the fall of 1986 when the team started the season with 2 straight losses.  That hadn’t happened since the 1800’s.  Everyone on campus seemed depressed – even the professors.  I would sum up the overall sentiment on campus like this, “If the football team can’t win, we might as well close the school down!”  That’s how important the football program is to Ohio State.  It’s dead serious stuff!

So, after  losing a bowl game to the Air Force Academy I was wondering if Ohio State was having the same thoughts … “We might as well close down the school … after all we can’t even beat the Air Force Academy.”

The Language of Marriage


Dwayne and Franchesca yesterday at the altar during the wedding ceremony.


My three ladies, Maria Clara (MC), Franchesca (Chez) and Marieta after the wedding ceremony.

My eldest daughter Franchesca (Chez) got married yesterday.  She and her new husband Dwayne asked me to give a speech at the reception; here’s what I said …

The Language of Marriage

I’ve been married now for over 24 years and I’ve known Franchesca since she was born so I feel somewhat qualified to share a few things I’ve learned along the way.

One thing I’ve noticed is Chez has some of her mother’s traits.  Marieta’s had a big influence on Chez.

For instance, I’ll bet you didn’t know, Marieta and Chez are both sports fanatics.  And, would you believe … their top 3 favorite sports – are the same?

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How is Investing like Fishing?

The Fisherman

Who catches the most fish?

I remember reading an article saying the Aussie housing market outperformed shares over a particular 10 year period.  And, I suppose that’s good news for property investors.  The folks who invest in shares were probably not be so pleased with this  announcement.

But, I’ll bet there are property investors who lost money during this 10 year run. And, I’ll bet there are share investors that made buckets of money over this same period of time.

You see, what is the key to successful investing?  Is it the investment vehicle – housing or shares – or … is it the investor?

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How do you get to be the boss?

The Boss

How do you get this title?

How do you get to be the boss?

I can hardly wait to answer this question because … I’ve never been called the boss!

At least not in the corporate sense.

Even though I worked in the military and corporate world for many years, I was never called the boss – ever!

I always seemed to be the new guy working his way up. I’d change jobs and start at the bottom again. As such, I never had anybody reporting to me. I never wrote efficiency reports on other people, I never called the troops together for a meeting, I never had anyone call me “boss.”

I’m OK with that; very OK.

Over the years, I’ve had many so-called bosses.  I have lots of experience dealing with people higher on the corporate ladder who I called “boss.”

Now, I’m discovering something a bit radical. All these people that I thought were bosses – really weren’t!

How can that be?

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