A(nother) New Start

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’ve had more new starts than all the racers of NASCAR combined. Well here’s another one.

Why? A couple of reasons. Yesterday was my 62nd birthday. Birthdays, to me, have always been like New Years Day, a chance to take a look at how things have been and how they could be. A chance to look back and to look to the future. And not to be maudlin, but unless I live to be 125 I have a lot more to look back on then I do to look forward to.

Speaking of looking back, let me tell you about a little exercise I’ve been doing all of this year. No, not that kind of exercise. That’s a subject for another post. Every day this year when I’ve got on the computer in the morning I’ve deleted the unneeded emails from that date for each year going back to when I started on Gmail in 2005. It’s been interesting. Most of it should have been trashed long ago. I doubt that anyone is going to honor that 12 year old coupon today. Some of it is personal and not deleted. A somewhat surprising amount is incomprehensible – back and forth on unremembered topics that were obviously important then, but unreadable today with out the long forgotten context. Finally, there were more than a few that just made me cringe. Things I said, opinions I espoused, and comments I made that at the very least make me wonder just what was I thinking?

It’s not all gazing in the rear-view mirror. There are still things I’d like to do. Some I’ll write about here, others will remain unannounced until they’re accomplished. (One thing I’ve been way too guilty of in the past is having and announcing “Grand Ideas” without putting in grand thought and planning first.) Another thing I’m not going to do, at least for now, is promote anything I write here. If you read it, you read it. If no one reads it I’m fine with that too. I’ve reached the point where I realize I really don’t care either way. Perhaps that’s growth.

Admittedly there isn’t much new or forward looking in this post. The future is in the future. (Isn’t that profound!)

That’s One Old Turkey

armynavy1955Yes, I am one old turkey. My parents always told this story about my birth: I was born on a Saturday. It was also the day of the Army-Navy Football game. That game has always been a big deal in the Delaware Valley. The doctor came into my mom’s room and reportedly asked her, “Who do you want to win?” Her reply was, “I don’t care, just get this baby out of me!” FYI Army beat Navy that year – 14 to 6.

There’s another interesting fact about my birthday. Every few years, like this year, it coincides with Thanksgiving day. It’s happened nine times in my life counting today. Like many families we had a tradition where you got to pick out the meal on your birthday. When I was young I didn’t like turkey. At all. My favorite meal (still one of my favorites) was meatloaf. When I was nine my birthday fell on Thanksgiving day and I let mom know that I wanted meatloaf for my birthday meal. Mom cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal for everyone else and a meatloaf shaped into the form of a turkey, complete with hamburger “drumsticks” on the sides. Fifty-one years later I still remember that day. It reminds me of my mother’s love and caring.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and that the bird on your table isn’t a old and tough as this old turkey.

It Is Grand

Back in August I returned to working at the North American Customer Service Center for Merlin Entertainments. There were many reasons for this including the fact that I really needed to work and I thoroughly enjoyed my previous employment with this company. For those of you who don’t know, Merlin operates 110 attractions in 23 countries across four continents. Our center takes calls (or will soon be taking calls) for:

  • LEGOLAND® and the LEGOLAND Hotels in California* and Florida
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Centers (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth*, Kansas City, Toronto*, Westchester)
  • Madame Tussauds (Hollywood*, Las Vegas*, New York, San Francisco*, Washington DC)
  • The Eye Brand in Orlando
  • SEA LIFE Aquariums (Arizona*, California*, Charlotte-Concord, Dallas-Fort Worth*, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Orlando)
  • The Dungeons in San Francisco*

The attractions marked with an asterisk* are those I work with.

There was another compelling reason for my return. The company and the CSC are growing rapidly. After months of discussion and planning we moved to a much larger space, and talks of expanding that space have already begun. That expansion means more people and more opportunities.

On November 11th we held our Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting.

grandopening

Exciting times!