The Internet Still Amazes Me (Six Years Later)!

I wrote a post back in December of 2010 about how a friend of mine and I were able to compose a song while on two different continents. The article, The Internet Still Amazes Me, was a simple telling of how those efforts came together.

Now, here we are six years later and we finally have a final product to all of that work. Great Job, Des! You worked your magic and made the words come to life! Keep up the great work!

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Posted in Music, Poem/Lyric, Stories, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coming Up For Air to Say Hello!!

Hey Guys,

Thank you for the emails asking for more content. I apologize for not writing lately. Let me correct that, I apologize for not writing for Irishman For Hire lately. I have been writing.

Last year, I took a job that requires a lot of my time from September through June. Last summer, I started working on a writing project that has taken up most of my free time. I hope to complete this project this summer. I will share more about this project when the time comes to do so.

In the meantime, Irishman For Hire has been the project that I have neglected the most. Thank you for continuing to ask me when I will have new material. But do not worry, I will sporadically be publishing articles  in the near future and when my other project is done, I will be back here a lot.

Thank you for all of your support! And thank you for continuing to share my part of this miraculous world! You guys rock!

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2012 Blarney Stone Award

In 2008, I decided that, at the end of the awards season (The Golden Globes, The Oscars, The Grammy’s, etc.), I was going to give out a single award here at Irishman For Hire called the Blarney Stone Award. The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone atop the Blarney Castle in Ireland and it is widely believed that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone (different link) will be endowed with the “gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery).”

The criteria for the Blarney Stone award is simple, “Thank those who have had an impact on my life before it’s too late to express the gratitude that I have for them.” I cannot guarantee that the recipient will become eloquent or a great speaker but the fact of the matter is that it was the eloquence of their actions that has spoken volumes to me in my life. We always intend to tell those important people in our lives what they have meant to us but more often than not, we never get the chance to say to our friends and family members what we truly feel in our hearts until it is too late.

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The Final Word, Twelve Years Later

I want to thank so many of you who have written to me or posted comments about my adoption search. It was a massive undertaking but also a journey that taught me so much about myself as a person and the world around me.

I started out looking for medical information. What I found was so much more and like so many relationships that every one of us has on a daily basis with our own family members; there are hills and valleys that we all must go through. The good times outweigh the bad times but life does bring its fair share of adversity.

And like all things in life, the people I have found also have a choice. There are some birth family members who chose not to be a part of my life. I understand their choices and I respect them. Genetically, we are connected and sometimes that is enough.

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Questions

Make a decision that no one sees coming and I can guarantee there will be an excessive amount of scrutiny about the choices you have made. When I resigned two and a half years ago so that our family could move south, our decision (to move) sent shock waves throughout my entire social network. My staff was shocked. My Board of Directors was stunned. Extended family members and friends were completely caught off guard and as soon as people got over the initial shock of the announcement, the phone calls, emails and the questions started coming:

“Why?”

“What are you doing?”

“What if everything goes wrong?”

“Have you completely lost your mind?!”

“How are you so calm?”

I had no problem answering the questions. People wanted to know why my wife and I made such a life altering decision. But after talking with so many friends and relatives about the changes that were happening in our lives, I came to the conclusion that the questions are more for the person asking than for the person being asked.

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A Moment in Time

There are moments in your life that will stand out and live in your memory forever.

Sunday night, I sat on my couch rooting for the New York Giants to pull off one more fourth quarter comeback. My kids were seated next to me. We wore our rally jerseys, we rooted, we chanted and when the Patriots got the ball back after the Giants went ahead 21-17, we sat on the edge of our seats, glued to the television, until the final second clicked off the clock. Then we celebrated!!

It was a moment that fathers relish. I was celebrating a championship with my kids as I watched their faces light up when our team finally won the ultimate prize; the Super Bowl! We were elated! And as much as I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life, I want to back the clock up a few hours.

At six o’clock on Sunday evening, I stood at the bottom of the stairs in our house and looked around at the smiling faces of the people who filled our home. I was surrounded by our extended family and in that moment, I realized how truly blessed we are.

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For The Love of the Game

It was a warm summer afternoon and as we pulled into the parking lot, I could tell that Josh was excited. As soon as I turned off the engine, he bounded out of the car and headed for the ball field. Upon finding his team, Josh joined right in and started tossing the football around with his teammates.

Two and a half years earlier, while still living in Massachusetts, Josh handed me a football one day and said we were going to play until he could catch the ball every time I threw it to him. It turned out that football had become the game his friends were playing at recess and my son, who had never shown any interest in the game prior to handing me that football, spent eight hours that weekend working on catching the ball and running routes. Within a week, he had gone from the kid who was always picked last to the kid who got picked first almost every day.

Josh started playing football every chance he could. When we moved to North Carolina, our neighbor and his sons would end up playing a pick-up game with us every weekend. The kids in the neighborhood played fall, winter and spring, so when signups started for the Carolina Copperheads flag football league, Josh was the first one in line to sign up.

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“For Auld Lang Syne”

Twelve years ago, I was standing just eighteen rows, left of center stage at the Billy Joel Millennium Concert. As I stood in the center of the universe on December 31, 1999, I took stock of my life. I was thirty years old. My beautiful wife was standing next to me and I was on top of the world. We had bought our first home, she was just named the Director of Social Services at a local nonprofit and I was the Chief Executive Officer of the organization I oversaw.

As Billy Joel sang the final bars of “Two Thousand Years” and we counted down the seconds to the year 2000, the world was my oyster. As the ball in Times Square finally dropped on the Jumbotron, I kissed my wife and sang “Auld Lang Syne” along with twenty thousand fanatical fans. And in that moment, as I stood there singing along with the crowd in the middle of Madison Square Garden, I briefly asked myself, “How did I get here?!”

As Billy Joel went right into “The River of Dreams,” the fleeting question passed. It didn’t matter. The past decade had been a great one and I was poised to embrace a new millennium filled with new possibilities. Our biggest concern that night was whether or not the Y2K bug was going to wreak havoc on the world and judging from where I was standing, I wasn’t too concerned about it.

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“Two Roads Diverged In A Wood”

Great stories rise from the ashes of ordinary adventures. They take on a life of their own based upon unexpected twists or turns that occur in the middle of a journey. But without these explorations, life would become boring.

Stephanie is conflicted over making this year a “Scotty McCreery Christmas” for our daughter Chloe. Chloe is one of the biggest Scotty fans in the country. She would literally pray for him to win American Idol each week. She convinced us to take her to Garner every week last spring to watch the elimination show and yes, we were at the RBC Center when Scotty was crowned the American Idol.

Chloe has written Scotty a letter inviting him to her classroom. She even included a picture of a Koala Bear just in case he likes Koala Bears. We bought her tickets to her first concert so she could see Scotty perform live and as luck would have it, she met Scotty’s Dad. She won tickets to Scotty’s birthday/CD release party and I have had to TiVo every appearance Scotty makes on television so that Chloe can see it the next day. And at the Raleigh Christmas Parade, she walked within ten feet of his float and then froze when Scotty looked in her direction. Like I said, she is a big Scotty fan.

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Posted in Children, Entertainment, Holidays, Music, Parenting, Spouses, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The IFH Mailbox

So, it’s Wednesday and you’re wondering, “Did Doug write an article this week? I didn’t get my email blast.”

The answer is simple, I have some articles in the works but nothing that is ready to press yet. So I have decided to try something new; answer some of your questions! It has been suggested that I have been absent from the comment section from time-to-time when readers start a dialogue. Not always but at times. I do want to declare that this is somewhat by design. As the author of the articles, I do like to see the interpretation of a written piece by the audience. I almost feel like my commenting on the discussion would be unfair to a point, but my 2012 New Year’s resolution is to get better at joining those conversations. No promises but it is one of my resolutions.

One way to do that is by answering your questions when I have a slow week at IFH. So without any further rambling on my part, let me answer some of your questions:

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Posted in Information, Narcissism, Random | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments