Sunday, June 15, 2014

Remembering Father on Father's Day

A bittersweet day that has become increasing difficult for me these days. So thankful that I have my kids and now grand babies (soon number two) to enjoy and make me smile. That usually makes the day barable. However it often makes me reflect on what I have missed out on all these years. My father passed away between my first and second year of college. A heart attack that was brought on my the same disease that curses me, diabetes. He had it for years and there just wasn't as much understanding of how to aggressively treat it back in those days as there is now. Not that is any much easier to deal with now. It is still a hurdle everyday.

This year it is a bit more painful since my mother has also left this earth last December. I realize now my connection between my parents has been completely dissolved. Dissolved by time, distance and now death. Mother's Day was hard this year and so is Father's Day. I was able to gather up many photos of my parents through the years, many from before I was born and many others from our journeies and adventures when I was a kid and teenager. He did pass on the history of the goofiness for me to share with my kids. So many stories that I have probably failed to share.

One story that surfaces is all about the history of my father's business, KENCO. He had a tax and insurance office for twenty years in my home town of Bartlesville OK. Once even expanded to Skiatook and Owasso. His office in Stillwater never really got off the ground. He had passed away too soon to get it running. It was opened primarily because I was in college at Oklahoma State.

His business was opened in 1966 when I was only a year old. I grew up in the office. Started out in the back in a crib. Later earned money by doing simple chores like cleaning the bathroom, filling up the old soda machine, vacuuming the carpet and even raking the shag rug. Yes, I said raking. All for a quarter each chore. Also I had to provide my dad with an invoice listing out each chore completed totaling up the fee. He was an accountant that was for sure. Probably also passed down my entrepreneurial spirit.

Later on my chores changed to preparing taxes. First short forms and by the time I was a senior in high school I was preparing long form taxes and even a few corporate returns. My father saved me from ever having to work in a fast food joint.......funny now I design fast food joints!

What you may not have known was how my dad came up with his logo and developed his marking schemes. I was gifted with doodling cartoons even at a young age. My involvement with helping the creation of the "Blue? Man" came from a sheet out of my comic books. I was drawing pictures from a page in the ARCHIES and my dad had over looked what I was doing. I think he swiped up my comic and my doodles setting out to create his business logo.

Taxes are never anyone's favorite thing to deal with (unless you are an accountant) and my father knew that. So he tried to make it fun. He put a spin on it my making up a sad blue blob of a man with with the phase BLUE? Written across his belly.

Over the years I continued to doodle the character in different scenarios as the hero. My dad continued to swipe them up and take them to a marketing firm to clean up the sketches for his marketing scheme. Some of my ideas were cleaned up some were just tweeted a bit. My dad always found a way to add a corny quote to them. But that is what dads do. Now my kids know where it came from. And even why my own marketing schemes for my own business are always so silly.

Below are a handful of marketing trace files (old school methods) of designs I helped with and maybe even started a bit that my dad had used on billboards around town and flyers that went out to his clients. I had thought these were lost after so many years. You can imagine my joy when I found them in a pile of photographs at my mothers house. Sweet fond memories.

Things that I have mimicked in IONIC that originally came from my father:
The IONIC "Blue" was originally the KENCO "Blue".
The shape and IONIC logo was a morphing of the Blue Man.
IONIC used many of the same letters as KENCO. The N anchored the middle.
My father had many "creations" in his office. Crafts and knick knacks. I have tried to do the same.....just slightly better.

Love you Dad. Miss you lots.

My friends, be sure to take time now as is doesn't always exist if you wait too long.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Saturday, June 14, 2014

LIFE: Rollercoaster or Bumper Cars

Life is a rollercoaster. Or at least my life feels like one. I cannot really control the twists or turns but rather must just react to what is thrown my way. But at least I'm on a track, so maybe it's more like bumper cars? I'm just cruising along and I get slammed into from every direction by everyone in my life. I'm not really reacting.....just having to brace myself and bounce.

Here comes another life challenge....SLAM! Somebody else wants something of me or from me....BAM! I want you to do this for me......SMASH!

Traffic on the bumper car of life can be ...... Shall I say! BUMPY. It's hard enough going through all the decisions we have to make during our life span. There are many choices we make, some are good, some are bad. Some we are rewarded for later in life. And yet others haunt us. I don't think any of us really choose to make poor decisions.....we are just ill-advised, immature, uneducated.....okay...stupid!

I've always tried to help people, take people for their words, trusted...sometimes to a fault. And then they expect more and more. Ask for more and more. Need I say demand more and more.  I'm expected to give more and more. I'm expected to just go with everyone's flow. Well if you haven't noticed, I'm not much in favor of following others. A bit of a rebel in life I guess. I like to do things my way....without interference from others, without conflict or criticism from everyone....just do it off to one side without a lot of hoopla or fan fair. However when I do that, pull away, now I'm told I have an 'attitude' or 'in a mood'. People just shut up and leave me alone. You don't really care about my feelings or opinion so don't start acting like you do now.

Not sure how I became everyone's keeper, rescuer, banker, confidant or even waterboy. Yeah, that's how I feel sometimes. Like the Waterboy trying to please everyone and make everyone happy. Everyone's own thoughts and beliefs are being shoved at me to accept. "Don't you want to think like this?" Sure, I guess. What choice do I have. Do what you want and I will go over here and do "my thing" by myself......."Hey, what are you doing? Don't you want to do it this way?" No not really.

I really don't like running. I would prefer not to have to run to stay in shape or control my diabetes. What I do like is that mostly I'm by myself. I run fast enough (barely) to stay ahead of some and slow enough (mostly) to keep away from the rest. I stick my earplugs in and tune out the rest of the world. Lost in my own head with my own thoughts listening to my own tunes. Just my aging body that fights me.

So, is it a rollercoaster? Flips, turns, ups, downs, overs, unders, fast with a bit of screaming along the way? Yes, certainly the path I've placed myself on. Or is it a bumper car ride? Most diffentately, strolling down the freeway of life and being slammed into every side by malicious do-gooders. Sometimes I feel it will be most welcomed to see everything come to an end. Less drama, less demand, less of me having to comply or make any more decisions. Is that so bad? 

From a confused and somewhat depressed individual. You got to know that diabetes in itself makes my emotions a rollercoaster. Up one day and down the next. Sorry about the rant my friends.

Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe

Monday, June 9, 2014

I would like to sleep too.

Keep the Dream alive: hit the snooze button.

You can't keep me up late fussing about the decisions, indecisions, expectations and directions YOU need to make in YOUR life and then drop off to sleep. I'm left here to ponder for the next two hours what I should do then end up with a terrible night of unrest.