Life is Like a Box of Sand

It was an exciting day for me today as a father.  I put together a sandbox for my son that he will undoubtedly spend a great deal of his youth being an explorer in.  In his first day in it, he found it hysterical to smash any castle that Dada built.  He also thinks its funny to watch the dogs dig like maniacs in search for some kind of rodent they feel must be in the sand.

There was no question whether or not we were going to get Dane a sandbox.  Our little California kid loves the beach.

The question was where we were going to get the sand from.  After the purchase of the sandbox, I just assumed that I would take a 4 mile stroll down to the beach and pick up some fresh, free sand.  There seems to be an unlimited supply of it along the Pacific. Well, JoAnne wanted nothing do to with that shananagins.  She said that any time you go in to state or federal park, you are to only leave your footprints and take nothing from the park with you.  She thought the beach would have the same rules.  After talking this through with JoAnne, I found myself at Home Depot today loading 1000 pounds of bagged sand which cost me around $100.  This is when I thought, “You know, life is like a box of sand.  You can build the sandbox, you can fill the box with sand,  but you can’t win an argument with your wife.”

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Beach Run for Operation Smile

On April 9, 2011, Team TAG sponsored a Beach Run.  We were supposed to run in the annual Irvine Lake Mud Run, but we had some logistical challenges.  Thanks to our flexible runners, we managed to salvage our race – with some great additional twists.

We ran from Culver City to Play Del Rey.  Team TAG donated $30 to Operation Smile for every runner – with 13 runners we donated $390.  The finish line was the ocean along this 4.5 mile journey.  The winning team got to enjoy front row seats at the beach while every team that followed would have to dunk in the ocean.  “The Old Guys” won the race while the young whipper snappers must have had the wrong songs downloaded to their iPods.

We all enjoyed a feast at The Shack in Playa Del Rey.  I’m always skeptical when someone claims to have “The Best Burger”.  However, The Shack was legit;  they added a Louisiana hot link to every burger.  All in all, we had a great day racing in California.  It was a day when competition intersected with cooperation.

Chivalry is ALIVE in LA – lessons from a baby

April 3, 2011 was a great day for me as a dad.  My boy is about a year and half years old, and he’s just getting his legs for good walks.  We went on a nice long walk to the park that day, and we came across a little girl also walking in the park (with her mom).  There was an initial stare down between the two little people.

After about a minute of looking at this little princess, Dane walked over to me to grab his sweater.  He then walked back to the little girl and offered her the sweater.  It was a beautiful moment.  My little boy is a natural gentleman.  The mother of the little girl was virtually brought to tears as her little girl looked so flattered.

We live in a world where people look out for themselves.  It’s not very often when I see someone on the 405 allowing someone else to move in to their lane.  In fact, I don’t even give other drivers  much of an option to get in to my lane as I leave around 2 feet of space from the car in front of me.  I think my little boy is giving me a lesson on chivalry and servant leadership.  It’s awesome to watch the instincts of a one and half year old to think of doing something nice for someone else.  Keep it up, little man.  You’re a special guy.

Team TAG Supports Japan (Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Crisis)

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, churning up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and set off warnings as far away the west coast of the United States and South America. Recorded as 9.0 on the Richter scale, it was the most powerful quake ever to hit the country. As the nation struggled with a rescue effort, it also faced the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl.

As of March 31, the official death toll had been raised to more than 11,600, and more than 16,000 people were listed as missing, although there may be some overlap between the two groups. The final toll is expected to reach nearly 20,000. More than 190,000 people remained housed in temporary shelters; tens of thousands of others evacuated their homes due to the nuclear crisis.

Sachiko Yamasaki (born and raised in Japan) is a recent graduate from CSUN.  Team TAG recognized Sachiko’s leadership potential, and she was hired in February to work in our Los Angeles office.

During this crisis in Japan, Sachiko stepped up and rallied the troops of Team TAG.

Sachiko Yamasaki: “Being from Japan, the recent environmental disaster had a huge impact on me. The opportunity to give back to my country following the disaster was not only important to me, but personal. I experienced the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, which happened in my hometown.  During that time resources were scarce; we lived with limited food, water and gas. My people and I were able to survive through the help of volunteers and many generous donations. Now, it’s my opportunity to give something back to my country and help as many people as possible survive through the disaster.”

Sachiko continued:  “This event not only allowed me to help my country, but gave me the opportunity to hone my leadership skills. More specifically, I learned how to influence and encourage people to do something. If I did not commit to the event full force and did not truly believe that raising money for Japan would help, then why would anyone else follow me? Without committed followers it would not have been a successful event. Believing in what you do, with a goal and purpose in mind is definitely the key to success.

My friends at Team TAG helped me organize a fundraiser (Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament) that raised over $500.  The contributions were paid the Red Cross in Japan.

I want to personally thank a few people for their help:  Heather Corbin, Frank Brito, Helen Davidov, Calvin Barbosa, Frida Karlsson, Rosario Valenzuela, Mirza Ulasoglu, Andy Kang, Eric Denq, Michael White, Jinu Park, Manilynn Disuanco, Gus Wang, Hovhannes Avagyen, Adrian Flores, Sam Chen, Andrew Barkman, and Jaime Hepp.  My countrymen appreciate your concern and your help.”