What’s Your Name

Mini Hamburgers
Mini Hamburgers
Everybody is doing it.

With all the talk generated by IHOP on Monday changing their name, albeit temporarily, to IHOb, in a marketing ploy to let the world know that they now also sell hamburgers, it got me to thinking.

As some of you know, that could be dangerous.

First, I went to the website “What’s in a Name” and searched for “Arthur”. This is what I found:

“English of unknown origin, possibly Irish… [M]ay be from Celtic “bear”, or irish Gaelic “stone”…”

So, I guess that makes me an unknown bear made of stone. So much for stealing pic-a-nic baskets from campers in Jellystone Park! At least Ranger Smith should be happy about that.

Since IHOP changed their name, other companies have followed suit. Burger King changed to Pancake King, and A&W Root Beer flipped their entire logo upside down, although they admitted they did not know what their A&W logo upside down meant.

Even non-food companies got into the name-change thing, like Netflix changing to Netflib.

Wendy’s is having a lot of fun with IHOP and their publicity stunt on Twitter. Especially funny was their “Thunder BearSword” tweet.

As for me, now I’m thinking of changing my name. But what should I change it to? Somehow, “Unknown StoneBear” just doesn’t quite seem right. So, I’m taking suggestions. Just click the “Leave a comment” link below and tell me what you think my publicity-stunt name change should be.

And yes, I will post the best suggestions.

Sailing

One year ago today, I was in Florida, still trying to wrap my head around everything that had hapened in the prior year.

Professionally, I had been working at a small group of radio stations. Because we were small, I worked my butt off, learning and growing and trying to keep all of the equipment working and having the time of my life out and about in the communities we served. We had completely rebuilt two of the stations, starting with the transmitter building. I thought everything was going great, until a gut punch came six months earlier. The radio stations had been sold.

An even bigger gut punch came five months later. My new employers were forced to lay me off.

Personally, I had had a scare when my Aunt had had a medical emergency. Several months later, my Mother-in-Law passed away. That was followed by my Uncle.

And now, I was away from home, coming to grip with the reality that just a couple of hours earlier, I was with my Dad as he took his last breath and finally was able to brake free from the pain of cancer that had wracked his life for years.

Now, a year later, I look back at everything that has, and has not, happened.

Sarasota National Cemetery
Sarasota National Cemetery
Dad had decided that he wanted to be buried at Sarasota National Cemetery, located just outside of the city that he had spent his final years. It is a beautiful and tranquil place, as befits those who have served our country. I wanted to be there today, to spend some time with Dad, but that was not to be.

Dad was able to travel a lot during his years in Florida. He and Janet loved taking cruises. They went everywhere, and had lots of fun. I believe sailing on various different sizes of cruise ships, to places near and far, was his escape.

Dad had tried many times to get my wife and I to join them on a cruise. We wanted to, but we just never were able to break free of our busy work lives long enough to be able to slow down and join them.

Over the past year, I’ve had to deal with the closing out my Dad’s affairs. Unfortunately, that is still a work in progress. I was able to drive down to Florida once, gathering up some of his stuff and paperwork and bringing them back to Maine. Some other items were shipped up a little later. My small house still hasn’t recovered from the influx.

Not everything over the past year has been bad. It has been fun to watch my Granddaughters growing up. As much as I would love to keep them as they are (or were), that is, of course, impossible. So I do my best to be there for them as much as possible, and help them navigate all their past, present and future changes.

Speaking of the future, I know of some things that are coming, but I can’t speak about them yet. As for the job search, things are finally looking up. But finding the right opportunity, at the right place, and at the right time, is definetely a balancing act.

And my ability to keep my balance over the past year has definetely been severely tested.

But for today, Dad is on my mind, and in my thoughts and prayers.