Why should you follow this blog? What makes it unique? Well that is an excellent set of questions. We try to post some fun stuff on the blog and lots of pictures of Lucy (the title character of the blog) and an occasional video or two. We write about things that matter to dog lovers and especially boxer dog lovers. So, here are the details of who Lucy the White Boxer Dog is...

Lucy the white boxer dog has been in our family for a little over six years now. She is not truly white but rather what is referred to as a "check boxer" due to her spots. She is not an albino! She has brown eyes and splashes of black on her in addition to her spots. She is a full blooded boxer. She is also extremely healthy with the exception of having a sensitive stomach.

Want to learn more about Lucy and the things we write about her, follow her blog. Better yet, check out some of the older posts. There is a lot of information on the care of boxers and dogs in general... We look forward to see your comments on some of the posts... Happy blogging to all!

Friday, August 30, 2013

You Can't Control Everything!

Born in Galveston, Texas in 1878 in the post slavery south, the boxer Jack Johnson went on to become one of the greatest boxers of the 20th century. But there is more to the story... John Arthur ("Jack") Johnson had many obstacles to overcome in his life. Born to parents who were former slaves and fighting at the height of the "Jim Crow" era, Johnson became the first African American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, maintaining the title from 1908 to 1915. How did he accomplish this amazing feat in a time of racial bigotry, subjugation, and other barriers imposed on African Americans of his day? He concentrated his efforts on the things that he could control and didn't worry about the things he could not; thereby, refusing to bow to conventional wisdom that an African American could not compete in a world not built for him. Control is a concept that I've been struggling with for a while but I think I have a handle on it now...
Locus of control is the concept that refers to what we believe affects our existence. Individuals who have an internal locus of control believe that events result primarily from their own behavior and actions. Those with an external locus of control believe that powerful others, fate, or chance
primarily determine the outcome of events. One of the most important aspects of personal performance is understanding, what is, and what is not, within our control. Attempting to influence or change what is beyond our span of control is a fool’s errand. Even more disturbing is when we forfeit responsibility and effort to fix the things that are well within our power. Knowing the difference makes all the difference.

There is an old prayer that reflects these sentiments...

“God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed. Courage to change the things that should be changed and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”
─ Reinhold Niebuhr

Do you feel out of control? Do you know your locus of control? You might want to take some time to truly understand the concept.

A New Book for Aviation Professionals

A note to all my old flying buddies. A couple friends and former coworkers have co-authored a new book that many of you may find interesting. The title is Automation Airmanship, Nine Principles of Operating Glass Cockpit Aircraft, Authored by Captain Chris Lutat and Captain Ryan Swah, released 2013 through McGraw Hill publishing. It is a must have book for anyone flying or instructing in today's advanced technology aircraft. I feel it would make a great addition to any serious aviation professional's library. I think you can find it over on Amazon.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A game of continuous improvement…

While this post has nothing to do with Lucy... or dogs for that matter. I felt compelled to share it here. The story begins -

As I established my setup for the first hole on the small executive golf course I like to play to work on my short game, I had to back off the shot. My mind was all over the place, how many times had I been presented with a shot just like this over the last 30 or so years that I have been playing this game?   “Many I thought to myself”… No matter how long I play the game, there is always this little nagging thought running through my brain - am I truly prepared? Have I practiced enough? Is my swing good today? The thing is - you can never truly master the game of golf – there always something that needs to be worked on or reworked. It’s all about continuous improvement. I guess this is what draws me to the game…

At the beginning of every year, I try to establish goals for where I want to be with my golf game by the end of the season. Sometimes I’ve succeeded and other times I’ve failed at my goals but they are always there. They give me something to concentrate my improvement efforts on. In reflecting back on my efforts to improve my game, I’ve discovered some roadblocks that prevent me from achieving all that I want to achieve.

For me, finding and dedicating the time to practice has always been a major obstacle. They say to truly become an expert at something; it takes about 10,000 hours of concentrated effort and practices over the course of a lifetime. There is no way that I have that kind of time to spend on my golf game. But I do put in practice time and I do attempt to make it fun. Speaking of fun, the fun has not always been part of my game. If I didn’t hit just the perfect shot or scoring wasn’t going well, I would sulk, get mad at myself and basically adopt a pretty crappy attitude about how I was playing. It was like emotional jetlag, I just couldn’t get past what I had just done, which led to even more problems. I use to see this same phenomenon in some of the students that I would train back when I was a flight instructor, but that’s another story...

Now that I’m older and wiser and possess a better understanding of the game, I find a new foe knocking at the door - physical degradation. My body isn’t as strong or flexible as it once was. But maybe this is a good thing. In my youth, I could hit the ball a ton and I didn’t think anything was out of reach (a problem in its own right). Today I find myself truly thinking about how I’m going to manage the course to achieve the results I want. I guess the old adage; “Old age and treachery will overcome youth and enthusiasm” holds some truth after all.       

I guess the bottom line for all of this is - golf is a game I will never master it. It, like life, presents us with many obstacles that we must face and overcome. To truly enjoy the game, you must put in the time to develop skills for the level you want to participate in. But most of all, we must put in the effort to enjoy the game – no matter what transpires on the scorecard. This is my new philosophy and my goals reflect it.