Tuesday, March 30, 2010

57 Channels and Nothing On!!

Greetings Happy People,

As I turn on the television tonight, I realized there is nothing on. Through each click of the remote, I see nothing that interests me. With the exception of some sports action, there is not much to watch on TV. It may be sad to say, but the majority of these channels are plagued with something called “reality shows.” As far as I am concerned, they are "pseudo-reality" shows. Out in the real world, you do not see Donald Trump offering an Apprentice job while telling you “You’re Fired!!” You also don’t see 30 women vying for the love of a rapper or rocker from the past – YEAH BOYEEE!! It has gotten to the point where you see a once called “cultural wasteland” become more toxic!!

What would l like to see on TV? Well, I would really like to see the majority of these pseudo-reality shows go bye-bye!! Instead, bring back those shows that are reality-free!! I don’t care if it is from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s, a little nostalgia never hurts. Bring back the action shows like The A-Team, Knight Rider, Airwolf, Hardcastle & McCormick, and MacGyver. Bring back the comedy shows like Three’s Company, Diff’rent Strokes, Night Court, Facts of Life, Mork & Mindy (nanu – nanu), and Family Matters. For those executives at NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX, you can also bring back cartoons like G.I. Joe, Transformers, Voltron, Thundercats, Fat Albert, and He-Man (I HAVE THE POWER!!) Heck!! These cartoons can also be on Saturday mornings again!!

Even though I like my sports right now, nothing can beat the action back then. In the NBA, you had Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, and a young Michael Jordan playing their hearts out. In the NFL, you had the Redskins, 49ers, Cowboys, Bears, Eagles, Oilers, Dolphins, Broncos, Raiders, and Giants clashing against each other for gridiron supremacy. And in Major League Baseball, you had amazing plays and game changing moments!!

That was great television back in the day!! It offered us an escape from the hustle and bustle of reality. It offered reasons to turn on the television on prime-time. It offered us a chance to be entertained. Even if it is for 30 minutes to an hour!! Those were the days!!

Will we ever see this form of entertainment again? Will we ever escape the grips of pseudo-reality shows? Will we ever find more good things to watch on TV again? I don’t know. One thing is for sure. As long as we can still use the remote to flip the channels, there has got to be something good on TV.

That is all I have for you today. Take care and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, March 26, 2010

Travelling Man

Greetings Happy People,

Whether it is work, Toastmasters, or just for fun, I love to be on the road. Whenever I go somewhere, I would pick up an atlas, look at the routes, calculate the distance, and estimate how long it takes to get from point A to point B. There is something about the open road that calls to me. Whenever I get the chance, I would answer it.

My road adventures started when I was 3 months old. I was a Navy brat when my family moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Kingsville, Texas. When I was older, I remembered moving across the United States. Thanks to the military experience, I travelled through different parts of United States, western Canada, and Mexico. The best part of travelling is not just seeing the different cities and landmarks, but also visiting my cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents too.

When I moved to Las Vegas 25 years ago, I still got those opportunities to travel across the country and visit my relatives in Arkansas and Virginia. When time passed, those opportunities became few and far between. During a certain time period, I was not able to go out on the road. It was at that moment, I purchased my first atlas and imagined going from one place to another. Somehow, I knew I was going to get another chance to go out on the road again.

When I started working at my current workplace 10 years ago, the opportunities for travel returned. This time, I travelled to different parts of Nevada. Whether it is Tonopah, Pahrump, Reno, Carson City, Alamo, Searchlight, or somewhere in White Pine County, I got to see a lot of beauty that this state had to offer. Believe it or not, there is more to Nevada than just Las Vegas.

When I became a District Officer for District 33 Toastmasters, I started travelling to different parts of California. In District 33, there are seven Divisions. Two are in Nevada, and five are in California. Throughout my Toastmaster travels, I saw many places and lots of cool Toastmasters too!! From the farming communities of Fresno, Modesto, and Bakersfield to the “US 101” cities of Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, to the inland places of Lancaster and Palmdale, I cherish my travelling experiences from this organization. Travelling with Toastmaster friends and my wonderful lady Dana makes it even MORE pleasant because I always have somebody to share my adventures with.

Speaking of Dana, the last time we went out on the road was a weekend getaway to Zion National Park in Utah. This was the second time I ever been to Utah. When we got to Zion, it was breathtaking!! The mixture of mountains, snow, and pure beauty was breathtaking. To make this trip better, I met a fellow Toastmaster I had not seen in a while!! It just does NOT get any better than this…..or does it? Hmmm!!

Today, there are people that live their lives through the newspaper or television. There are other people that lived in one place all their lives, yet never set foot out of the city limits. Oh what these people would not miss if they take the time to just go somewhere. Heck!! This country has only 3.8 million square miles of pure land. Most of it IS filled with beautiful sceneries. Visiting these places is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of “complicated” life. It can make you feel refreshed, reenergized, and relaxed. It can also make you appreciate the finer things in life!!

There are places I still have not seen. Hopefully, with a little free time, I will get a chance to look at more breathtaking places. Who knows? The next beautiful thing can be only miles away!! All we have to do is just go out on to the open road and hit the trails!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Roadblock

Greetings Happy People,

I have a lot of things on my mind right now. There are so many messages and stories that I want to tell all you happy people tonight. For the first time in a while, I met my roadblock. Although it seems big and intimidating, roadblocks are only there to hinder any type of process one may have.

Whether it is in trying to find those words to write or pursuing another type of goal, these roadblocks can be quite annoying. Although this may sound troubling to you and me, there are two things I can tell you about these obstructions:

1. Roadblocks are only temporary – if you are determined to get to where you want to go, you will know how to go over, under, and through them.

2. The more you face AND overcome these roadblocks, the better you are as an individual.

How should one deal with a roadblock? Instead of using frustration, anger, and outright despair, one should see a roadblock as a challenge that will be overtaken!! Use determination, confidence, and anything else that would allow you to go through this barrier. Successful people have been through many roadblocks in their lives. You are no different from them.

So if you ever find yourself in this type of roadblock, don’t let this inanimate force bring you down. As an alternative, use this to your advantage!! You will impress yourself with the barriers you can bust!! Trust me on this message happy people.

As for this blog I am trying to write to you tonight, I am still at that pesky roadblock. What in the world could I write to you? It feels like I have a very good message to give!! SHOOT!! It is right on the tip of my tongue!!

Hey wait a minute!!

I just gave you all a message on how to deal with this problem!! Apparently, I overcame my own roadblock tonight!! Ironic huh?

That is all I have for you tonight. Take care and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Commander in Chief

Greetings Happy People,

It was a Wednesday evening in February when I walked into the meeting room at Gordon Biersch. As I was preparing for the General Evaluator role at that night’s B&B Toastmasters meeting, the club President walked up to me with an interesting look on his face.

“Jesse,” he said, “The Toastmaster for tonight’s meeting has not arrived. I was wondering if you would like to step in as tonight’s Toastmaster.”

Knowing we have a few minutes left before the meeting started, I told him “Yes.”

The Toastmaster is a very important role in any meeting because they are responsible for running the overall meeting. Having a meeting without one is like having a body without a head. It involves preparation, organization, and a tremendous ability to keep the meeting going. It is similar to hosting a variety show.

As the time drew closer to the start of the meeting, I had to do some quick thinking. First and foremost, I needed a schedule for that night’s meeting. Luckily, the club’s VP of Education had a sheet I can use as a reference point. Next, I needed to make sure that all the vacancies for the meeting roles were filled. Luckily, they were. The only thing that was missing was a theme for that meeting. What the heck could I talk about?

Suddenly, the Sergeant at Arms pounded the gavel for tonight’s meeting; the President gave his customary limerick; and all the people were introducing themselves. During the introductions, I had to make a choice on what the theme should be. Knowing that it was getting closer to two different holidays, I quickly chose the theme that was quite “Presidential.” When I made the decision to talk about Presidents, I wrote an outline on what to say at different points of the meeting. When the President called me up to the lectern, I was ready…..for the first part of the meeting!!

As I stood in front of the audience, I welcomed everybody and went into the theme entitled “Presidents.” I explained to the people why I chose this theme and the importance of being a President of the United States. Then, I introduced my helpers: the Grammarian, the Ah Counter, the Timer, and the Vote Counter. As the helpers were talking about their roles, I quickly wrote the next part of the game plan. When it was my time to come up to the front of the room, I recited the first 10 Presidents of the United States. In addition, I gave brief descriptions about these gentlemen.

When it was time to introduce the Impromptu portion of tonight’s meeting. I felt very comfortable in my role. Throughout the rest of the meeting, I continued to draw the game plan when I was not in front of the room and recited more Presidents when I stood in front. By the time the meeting ended, people were amazed on how I was not only able to step in on short notice but also know information on Presidents from Washington to Obama.

To this day, I have people asking me what was my secret. I recommend that they play chess on a timer. What I experienced that night was similar to playing chess.

How so? Like the chess pieces on a board, I had my resources. That night, I had the schedule and the people filling in the roles. Like the game of chess, I had to make quick thinking moves and strategize a game plan. That night, I made a quick decision to choose the President’s theme for tonight’s meeting and drew out an outline. And like any good chess player, the more you play…the better you become. This was not my first time stepping into the Toastmaster role like this. I have done this several times. The more times I do this, the better I am on how to deal with it.

The story I gave you was an example on how a situation can be handled to one’s advantage. Most people would let fear overtake them and lose control in this moment. However, it does not have to be that way. Instead, take the time out to look at where you are, see what references you have at your ready, and draw out a game plan. You would be surprised about the outcome you can make for yourself. Once you are able to master this way of thinking, you too can become a Commander in Chief!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mr. I-I-I's Book Review

Greetings Happy People,

Ever since my barrier broke two years ago, I found many ways to rediscover my own personal renaissance. Whether it is by Toastmasters, reuniting with fellow Gaels, creating wonderful relationships, taking advantages of new opportunities, or just having fun, my life has taken an amazing turn!! It is an awesome feeling and I am looking forward to more good fortunes in the future!!

To ensure a deeper exploration of my renaissance, I read motivational and inspirational books. When it comes to these types of books, they leave the reader thinking that anything is possible with faith, hope, and positive thinking!! Some stories involved major turnarounds while others offer power messages. No matter how you slice it, you can never go negative by reading something positive!!

When it comes to powerful and motivational messages, there are three books that I strongly recommend to you happy people!! All three are written by amazing, dynamic women.

The first book I recommend is titled “The Power of the Platform – Speakers on Success.” This book, created by Robin Jay, is a culmination of amazing stories given by amazing speakers. In this book, you have the likes of Jack Canfield, Les Brown, Stormie Andrews, Angelique Daniels, and Charli Douglass giving words of wisdom through their own personal experiences. Each message is powerful, uplifting, and just downright amazing!! For more information on this book, please go to the Las Vegas Convention Speakers Bureau website (http://www.LVCSB.com).

The second book I recommend is “Heart of a Military Woman.” This book, created by Sheryl Roush & Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, is a culmination of stories about women and their experiences in the U.S. Military. The stories from these women are amazing. By the time you finish reading the stories in this book, you will be able to find your power and appreciation for those that serve our nation proudly!! For more information on this book, please go to The Heart Book Series website (http://www.heartbookseries.com).

The third book I recommend is “Life Choices – Navigating Difficult Paths.” This book, created by Judi Moreo, is about the stories of people overcoming different obstacles in life. You have some stories that involve people at their lowest point. You also have others that offer simple messages from powerful stories. From this book, you will hear inspirational stories from dynamic presenters like Judi Moreo, Aimmee Koudachian, Elle Swan, Jesse Ferrell, Deborah Clark, and many more!! You will laugh, you will cry, you will be amazed!! Heck!! You may hear something about Toastmasters!! For more information on this book, please go to the following website (http://www.lifechoicesbook.com).

These are the three motivational books that I recommend for you happy people. Please feel free to check them out!! If it is good for me, it will also be good for you too!! Just take the time out and ready the stories from these authors. It is simply amazing!!

That is all I have for you right now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, March 12, 2010

Behind the Front

Greetings Happy People,

One Saturday evening, I was with a few friends at a Dueling Piano bar in the Paris Hotel and Casino. We were having a great time, singing songs that took us back to when music was good. With the laughter, frivolity, and good times we were having, I saw something that made me say “DAMN!!” And it is not in a good way.

A woman was walking in front of the window, which was located right behind the piano players. This girl thought she was hot and “all that.” She was wearing a nice purple size 2 dress. The only problem with this picture was the fact that she had a size 12 body!! YIKES!! I may not be a fashion designer, but what she was wearing was wrong on so many levels. That dress rode up her body the same way Teddy Roosevelt rode up San Juan Hill. It took many hours to erase that hot mess vision from my mind.

That story reminded me of my older sister and ex-brother in law Andre. No she does not wear any mess like that - THANK GOODNESS. However, you can guess where I am going with the logic. When they were moving from Virginia to Las Vegas, my sister and her husband were bragging to my mom about the new car they bought. “Yes Mom!!” my sister shouted, “Andre and I just bought a brand new Mercedes-Benz!!” As my mom was getting excited about the car, my dad and I knew something was up. Call me crazy, but I think the Oakley men have something in their minds known as a “B.S. detector.” Whenever something smells funny, the detectors in our minds go off like an alarm.

As soon as my sister and Andre moved back from Virginia, they were sporting their brand new car. When I looked at the car, it looked like a Mercedes-Benz alright…a Mercedes HAS-Benz. The car was leaking buckets of oil, the fender and bumpers were messed up, rusty spots were easily seen on the car, and it had so many miles on it that one would swear that this jalopy went to the moon and back!! My mother had an indescribable look on her face while my dad and I had an “I told you so” smirk.

What do these two stories have in common? Well, the girl in the short dress, my sister, and her husband can be considered “fronters.” What does that word mean? Well, a fronter means that one would put on a front to make themselves look good…only to hide the bad from within. No matter where we go, we see these fronters in action. They can be found on rap videos, the news, at church, the mall, talk shows, and many other places. The only people these fronters are fooling are themselves. If people are smart, they can read behind the ruse of a fronter to know what they really are.

Instead of being a fronter, why doesn’t one become real with themselves? It is always better to be something you are than something you are not!! When a person is real, they do not have to put up any kind of front. Instead, people can see them for who they are front the beginning. People can respect that!!

The next time you come upon someone that like to front, don’t listen to the words they would like to sell you. Instead, take the time to see the person in action. Are they really backing the words that come from their mouths? Are they really true to what they are? One can only know.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Casting Stones

Greetings Happy People,

I just received an interesting phone call today. It was from a person who loves to gossip. In the middle of my work, she called me to talk about another person’s sexuality. Throughout this phone call, I asked myself “Why am I listening to this?” Within a few seconds of the call I did this best thing I can do, hang up!!

Apparently this gossiper loves to cast stones. Unfortunately, the house she lives in is made of glass. So you can guess the windows from the glass house are busted frequently. While she is casting stones, the glass house she lives in is far from being clean. Before she even attempts to cast any more stones, she should look at her own house and take care of her own things. As you can tell, I really don’t spend much time with this person.

It does not matter if you are at work, home, or school, there are people that love to cast stones. Why do they like to do it? I don’t know. My best guess is to keep the attention off of them and on to someone else. Either way, I find it to be childish, foolish, and selfish. Little to these people know, the more stones they throw, the worse off they will be. Why is that? Well, it takes lots of time and energy to cast stones at someone. Once all those stones are thrown, it renders the caster to feel weak, tired, stressed, and lots of pain. They are doing more damage to themselves than to the other person!!

What if somebody cast stones at you? Well, you can take the castings in two different ways: either allow yourself to be the victim, or walk off and find something else to do with your life. If I were you, I would prefer the latter. This is a big world happy people!! And your time is worth more than worrying about who said what about you. You are better off making your own path than to deal with another’s. The following appropriate quote I have for you says it very well…

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are that you will fall into someone else’s plan.” – Jim Rohn

Like the “Perpetual Victim,” the stone casters are another group of people you want to walk away from. It is not worth your time at all. Instead, go forth with your life and use your own stones to create something positive!! Trust me!! Build something amazing with your stones, instead of throwing it all away!! You will be amazed with the masterpiece you can create!!

That is all I have for you today!! Take care and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stand Up.....Move Forward!!

Greetings Happy People,

For the following story, let me take you back to two years ago. I was sitting in a meeting room with my fellow co-workers. The Chief boss named “Dan” was ready to give his report to us. He was talking about a vacant position that was at our workplace. There were two people that were going for that position, myself and “Jim.” It was a shot a promotion for the both of us.

If you were to look at the qualifications on paper between myself and Jim, you would notice that I have a pretty good resume. I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering, I have an Engineer Intern certificate from the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, and I also had a decent knowledge about that workplace. When I filled out my application for this position, I was ranked #1 due to my strong educational and work experience background. It seemed like a slam dunk that I would get that promotion over Jim right? Let’s go back to the meeting room.

As Dan was mentioning about the vacant position, he made a mistake. Before any hiring was done, before any interviews were held, he made a Freudian slip by mentioning that Jim was going to get the position. OUCH!! Realizing his slip up, he tried to take his words back. Unfortunately, it was too late.

After the meeting, people were asking me what I was going to do. First, I had to step back and ask myself what I was going to do. Would I confront Dan about this? Would I withdraw my name from the interview schedule? Or would I just do nothing? At that moment, I remembered the words of a past International Director from Toastmasters. He said “It is better to fail than quit.” When I heard those words in my mind, I knew what I had to do.

I picked out my best clothes, put on my best tie, and printed copies of my resume. Knowing that there was a good chance that I will not get promoted, I went to that interview. During the interview, I was asked plenty of questions. Thankfully, I answered the questions to my best ability. To be more honest, I rocked that interview to the point where Dan and the manager “Jane” were impressed. When the interview was over, I left the room with my head held high. Did I get that promotion? Nope. Jim still got it. What I got in return was my own satisfaction on moving on despite this misfortune. Anyway, it was a blessing that I did not get promoted to that position. I would have faced plenty of difficult situations had I been selected.

What is the overall point to this story? While we may have people that love to throw the monkey wrench into our plans, we as a people must stand on our feet and move forward!! There is nothing better than to get to a goal. Imagine if I were to quit. I would not get as far as I did. If I were to quit, I probably would not get another opportunity to get promoted. If I were to quit, I would let the negative people win!!

Whenever you feel the odds are stacked against you, just stand up, meet it face to face, and move forward. Once you are able to do that, YOU WILL WIN!!

That is all I have for you. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Book Cover

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever been judged by your looks?

Have you ever judged anyone else by their looks?

It does not matter if you are on one side or the other, judging closes doors. When you judge someone based on their looks, you miss an opportunity to see who they really are.

I have a wonderful relationship with my fiancée Dana. It is hard to believe that we have been together for almost two years. She is an amazing person, a fun individual, and someone I am very grateful to be with. No matter how we spend our time on weekends, we always have fun times together.

In the beginning part of our relationship, there were people that were not happy about us going out. One person looked at a picture of Dana and saw a “fat white-trash whore.” As shocking as it was for me to hear this, I brushed it off because the comment was beyond ignorant. That shows me that this person did not want to get to know her by any means. This was a missed opportunity people!!

I often wondered how things would be if the shoe was on the other foot. Would this person think differently if someone called her some derogatory names? There is a good chance that this person would not like it at all. If you choose to dish this type of judging out at someone, you better be prepared to receive the same.

Upon listening to the ignorant comment of this person, I had a choice to make on who to listen to. Did I listen to that person? Or did I listen to myself? Well, judging by the fact that I remained with Dana for nearly two years, you can guess the answer – HELLO??!!

I benefitted from listening to myself because I chose not to miss any more opportunities this relationship can (and will) bring. Thanks to this decision, I feel very fortunate and grateful for spending time with a person as nice as Dana!! As for the person that made the comment about her, let’s just say that this person continues to live in a place where there is nothing but darkness.

When it comes to knowing a person, it is always good to know someone from the inside. Knowing someone from the inside will give you a better understanding on who a person is. It will also give you a better understanding of yourself because you choose to know more about this person. Who knows!! Uncovering a snap judgement of someone will open more doors than you think!! Just give it a try and see where these open doors will take you. You might be amazed!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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