My Little Girl Is Getting Married – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Oh My, A Wedding

Sooner or later it was going to happen, and I am happy to say that my daughter accepted a proposed to in early December. We were unable to inform anyone until after Christmas, but I am quite pleased.

The gentleman that proposed to her is an active Army Reservist, Police Officer in a large metropolitan area, and a mature adult. My daughter is a responsible professional at a local business that travels for work.

We have discussed the how both are not only marrying each other, but they are also joining families and professions. Marriage is always a challenge requiring much work, and I believe they have what it takes.

My daughter and bride have been busy as bees planning since the initial announcement, and the goal is to schedule the wedding before the end of 2018.

Planning and scheduling a wedding in less than twelve (12) months is a significant endeavor but I believe they will be successful since we have had tighter challenges.

  • To date, the search for a wedding venue has been successful, and although there were numerous options available supporting the schedule they have decided to use a small lodge in the Ozarks.
  • The lodge is quite reasonable and includes many of the side expenses associated with a wedding including the preacher, reception, etc.
  • I was asked to take pre-engagement pictures at a local park so they could purchase the “Save The Date” cards and make a selective Facebook announcement.
  • This weekend my daughter and I are going to the lodge to check out the winery since I have been a spectator at this point allowing them to do what they want because I do not have a clue.
  • During the past few days, the bridesmaids have verified participation, and it appears as though they have selected a bridesmaid dress that is not ugly.
  • I am not sure what the wedding dress status is, but I am sure that will be wrapped up in short order and within budget. We will see how this progresses.
  • Today the question of the day was in regards to the father of the bride dance and my choice was the Warp Dance from Rockey Horror. This selection would be fitting and fun I believe, but we will see.

I Hope The Rings Are Not Misplaced!!

The guest list is in progress, and we are many hours away from our immediate family, so we are not sure how many family members will attend. This number will be firmed up in time.

  • We are lucky that our daughter’s grandparents met he fiance although my mother met him during her final hours. My mom would have been happy with the pending nuptials.
  • I doubt my father or sister will come to the wedding since they don’t travel but I am confident my wife’s parents will be here. Unluckily, my wife’s siblings probably won’t attend.

We have come along way since my daughter learned to ride a bike in Georgia, played her first slow-pitch softball game in South Dakota, went on her first date in Iowa, and attended her first day of college in Missouri.

There are so many fond memories that are ingrained in my head and heart. The pets, band-aids, sour kids, VHS rentals, roller blades, laying in the grass watching the stars, and the list goes on.

With nine (9) months before the wedding, we have an extensive to-do list, and I am sure we will experience much emotion. I am confident we will make it through this challenge like we have many before.

What Will The Grandkittens Think?

Many of you have gone through the process of your daughter getting married, and I am somewhat at a loss on what to expect.

  • Will our relationship change with our daughter getting married?
  • Is it more fun to have grandchildren than children?

Please provide comments, and I wish you health, safety, and success. It sure is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

How I Joined The US Navy – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

North DakotaNorth Dakota Skyline

I am proud to be from North Dakota and happy that I was able to grow up with the freedom that is almost unknown in this day and age.

In many ways, you could compare the escapades of my friends and myself much like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn although 100 plus years later and located in Jamestown North Dakota.

All good things must come to an end as they say and as I entered Senior High School, it was apparent that my future was limited in North Dakota, so I started looking at options.

-I loved auto body and auto mechanics but without a college fund and being bored in High School, my potential to attend higher education was limited.

  • There were numerous options for work in agriculture and service industries in the area, but without higher education, my Career possibilities would decrease as my body aged.
  • A military career was possible, but if this were my choice, I would need to leave my family, my friends, and the life and freedom I so enjoyed. The long-term career and training opportunity was a plus.
  • The worst direction was a career that included making big rocks into small rocks if caught. You may think that I am joking, but it was possible being the product of a law enforcement family.

During my junior year, I decided to join the military, and I wanted to be a United States Marine as my primary choice and a United States Sailor as my alternate choice.

  • I met with the Marine and Navy recruiters and decided I wanted to be a photographer or meteorologist.
  • The ASVAB test would determine what I would qualify for, so I held fast until I was old enough to test.
  • It was my goal to sign up for the Marines when I turned seventeen (17) and leave for boot camp once I graduated from high school.
  • A couple of weeks before taking the ASVAB, my dad informed me that he would not sign for me if I went into the Marines so I decided the Navy was the way to go.

RTC Great Lakes - Source: US NavyUS Navy RTC Great Lakes IL – Source: US Navy

Around the time I turned seventeen (17), the Navy Recruiter scheduled my ASVAB test in Fargo North Dakota.

  • Numerous potential recruits and I arrived at the Ramada Inn and commenced to prepare for the ASVAB by getting crocked.
  • Early the next morning we were taken to the AFEEs Station where we would take the ASVAB test, and we were all in poor shape.
  • We took the ASVAB test, and I was sure I was going to be scraping paint in the Navy since I was so hung over.
  • There was no drumroll, but there was a score provided that allowed me to choose any Navy career I wanted.
  • The recruiter was immediately on me to choose nuclear power or advanced electronics, but I wanted to be a photographer or meteorologist.

I held firm in my choices and the recruit detailer determined the timeline for me to leave for the Navy based on the need for photographers of meteorologists.

  • Shocked is an understatement when informed that the wait for these fields was at least twelve (12) months out.
  • These options had to be a set up since the recruiter and station received more points for the fields they wanted me to select.
  • It was back to the drawing board since the wait was too long for careers I preferred jobs.
  • In the end, I selected the advanced electronics field where my career was limited to a select training field.

The paperwork was submitted, and I was sworn into the Navy under the Delayed Entry Program and would leave a week after graduation in 1981.

CPOEnded Up A Chief

We have all made career decisions with limited knowledge of what to expect. In my mind, I had not only selected a career but was also anticipating an adventure.

Thanks for visiting and would appreciate your comments and/or input.

  • Have you ever leaped into the unknown when relocating or accepting a job?
  • Did you make similar decisions when joining the military?

I wish you health, safety, and success. It sure is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

I Love Dirt Track Stock Car Racing – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Marks Dirt Track RacingJameston Speedway – Source: Marks Dirt Track Racing

Growing Up In Jamestown North Dakota in the 60s and 70s allowed you to look forward to certain events much like the seasons.

The calendar was marked specifically in order of occurrence through the year.

  • Boy Scout Fair at the Civic Center occurred in mid-March and was an indoor competition between local scout troops. My Troop won the scout fair with Finger Printing.
  • Last snowfall of the year which normally followed the first melt. This event would normally occur in late March to the middle of April.
  • Fishing season (non-ice) which started on or about April 1st. You could fish off the shores or in boats for perch, walleye, northern pike, etc.
  • Lawn mowing season would normally start about the same time as the fishing season.
  • Stock car racing season which started in early May and ended in late September or early October. This was the greatest late model and street car racing in the upper midwest.
  • School ended for summer which normally occurred on Memorial Day weekend unless there were too many snow days.
  • The Stutsman County Fair surrounding the 4th of July where the Murphy Brothers Exposition came to town. There was a midway, concerts, Joey Chitwood, tractor pulls, demolition derbies, and stock car racing.
  • School started during the Labor Day weekend and it was also the start of leave raking season and Indian summer.
  • Stock car racing ended in late September or early October and the Stock Car Stampede was the final event of the year.
  • Hunting seasons for upland game, waterfowl, deer, etc, would occur throughout the fall. My favorite was working the potholes for ducks and geese.
  • Christmas school break and ice fishing season normally started around the third week of December. School started up in early January and ice fishing continued until the ice was no longer safe to walk on.

My favorite event when growing up was stock car racing since our entire family was not only involved in it but truly attached to it.

Stock Car Racing happened every Wednesday night from early May to late September unless the races were rained out.

  • On Wednesday nights, time was short between my parents getting off work and us heading to the races so we normally had burgers from the American Legion which were delicious.
  • We would chow down the burgers while watching the Sonny and Cher show on CBS and once complete would head to the races so we could get our normal seats in front of the announcer’s booth.
  • Once at the races, we enjoyed rooting for our favorite drivers for three (3) to four (4) hours and we cursed those we did not like. Many of our favorite drivers included:
    • Mike and Rich Swangler (#10 and #12).
    • Ernie Brookings (#41)
    • Bobby Zimmerman (#13)
    • Dick Miller (#76)
  • This was our weekly family event and I would never trade it for a million dollars. I can still remember my ears ringing from the noise, dirt caked on my face, and mosquito bites everywhere. It was great.

Marks Dirt Track Racing 2





Source: Marks Dirt Track Racing





When vacation season rolled around in July, we would follow the Northern Racing Circuit for a week of racing. Jim Corcoran promoted not only the Jamestown ND tracks but also the tracks below that we visited.

  • Grand Forks ND on Friday Night.
  • Kittson County, Hallock MN on Saturday Night.
  • Riverside Speedway, Crookston MN on Sunday Afternoon.

During our vacation week, we round stay in motels, eat out, and enjoy our favorite racers at new tracks. It was so much fun.

When fall would hit, we had the Stock Car Stampede to attend which occurred over the weekend in late September or early October.

  • This was the last event of the year before the snows and was scheduled for Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
  • More than 100 cars would come to compete for the large purses that were awarded to the winners.
  • Nobody held back since it was the last race of the year and I remember one year where it snowed during the races.

When the last checkered flag waved, it was clear that winter would arrive soon and another joyful season had come to an end.

Dreams were forged at the Jamestown Speedway and although as a teenager I pitted for a friend and ran a wrecker, I never drove a stock car during a race.

Marks #3Source: Marks Dirt Track Racing

  • What memories do you have of family activities or vacations that you will never forget?
  • Did you have similar dreams based on family activities or vacation?

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you health, safety, and success. It is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Christmas Past – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

barn in winterBarn In The Winter

2017 will be the first Christmas without my mother so it is fitting that I blog about how it was possible to have a perfect Christmas with family and few gifts.

Every Christmas, we would go to my grand parent’s farm eight miles north of Jamestown North Dakota on Highway 20. This was not a forced event as many would think but you looked forward to it.

My mother had eleven (11) siblings of which ten (10) survived past childhood. At Christmas, all that lived within the four (4) state region would drive to the farm for the annual get together for all the siblings and in-laws. Sometimes we would even have outlaws attend.

Mom As A Toddler

When I speak about inlaws and outlaws, I am referencing spouses and the current spouses were in-laws and the divorced spouses were outlaws. The kids like me were just part of the general herd.

With eleven (11) total siblings that were adults plus spouses and children, you had a significant gathering that occurred at a farmhouse with three (3) bedrooms upstairs and a partially finished basement with a pool table.

The temperatures were normally sub zero by this time of the year so most everyone was in the house or barn to keep warm and if you did go outside, your time was limited due to wind chill.

I have set the stage to allow you to understand the stock I came from and they were an interesting stock of Polish, English, and Danish ancestry.

The house had ground rules that involved the adults being upstairs unless downstairs playing pool. The grandchildren (40 plus) including myself were downstairs or outside.

Christmas lunch and dinner were served upstairs but you took your food downstairs and ate it if you were a kid and if you complained, you went without.

Lunch was normally something easy like sandwiches or pizza and I still remember thinking the mushrooms on the pizza were mouse butts.

Dinner was turkey and ham plus potluck from the siblings so you had a wide variety of food to chose from and it was normally worth the wait after being active all day.

There were plenty of activities to participate in and few involved sitting around. Common activities included:

  • Dodging the bull named Royal who would chase you as you played matador. My uncles would do this after drinking and would sometimes get the horn.
  • Snowball fights with your cousins when the snow was damp and when not manure fights were fun. It was imperative that you kept your mouth shut during either type of fight.
  • Jumping on the milk cows from the hayloft and attempting to ride them. We were not very successful at this.
  • Feeding the barn cats direct from the cow nipple during milking and did they love warm milk directly from the cow.
  • Riding a flipped over hood from a car behind the tractor through the snowy fields. You felt every rock, bump, and hole.

This is but a short list of activities us kids participated in during the day and early evening prior to opening gifts and I would not trade it for all the tea in China.

Once the meal was complete and dishes hand-washed by the older kids, Grandma and Grandpa gave each one of the grandchildren a gift specifically picked out for them.

Even though there were probably thirty (30) plus grandchildren at this time, not one grandchild received a duplicate gift and you felt so special. This would later grow to nearly fifty (50) grandchildren.

Once the gifts were opened, the older kids would return downstairs or outside until it was time to go and the younger children would normally nap.

While the kids were doing their thing, the adults were upstairs playing cards, drinking wine and beer, and bonding until somebody started a fight.

Yes, with siblings even though they were adults, the proverbial crap would sooner or later hit the fan and some member of the family would be a black sheep normally until the family summer picnic.

I can still remember watching one of the three (3) channels we received on antenna TV as the lava lamp did its thing on top of the TV while in the background there was screaming and shouting.



TVs With CRTs – Oh Yea



This part of my life was priceless and I will always cherish that I had a childhood where I was able to get barb wire cuts, a black eye from a thrown rubber milker insert, and a special gift picked just for me.

My grandparents, many of my aunts and uncles, my mother, and some cousins are no longer with us but they will always be part of my memories and heart.


Mom Third From Left & Siblings


  • What special memories do you have about your grandparents, aunts, and uncles?
  • Did you have similar family functions with the drama that was part of being a family?

Wishing you health, safety, and success. It is great being fifty plus going on fifteen but I wish I could be a kid back on the farm.

Jay Patterson

Love My Beta VCR But Lived With The VHS VCR – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

TapeNearly forty (40) years have passed since I purchased my first VCR after much research and consideration. The VCR first hit the market during the infancy of national cable television.

We did not have hundreds of channels to watch or video streaming. The only option prior to VCRs was to watch antenna TV which gave you up to four channels (4) or cable TV which gave you twenty (20) channels.

Without the internet to research, you had to use newspapers,  magazines, limited television coverage, or visit the local appliance store to determine which VCR was best.

There were two (2) primary players in the VCR war during the late 70s and early 80s. The companies and formats were Sony Beta and RCA VHS and the technology was expensive.

  • The Beta VCR cost approximately $1,000 in 1978. In today’s dollars, the Beta VCR would cost $3,750.
    • Minimum wage in 1978 was $2.65 per hour so you would need to work 1,415 hours to purchase, nearly nine (9) months.
  • The VHS VCR cost approximately $700 in 1978. In today’s dollars, the VHS VCR would cost $2,628.
    • Minimum wage in 1978 was $2.65 per hour so you would need to work 991 hours to purchase, nearly six (6) months.
  • As a comparison, the average new car cost in 1978 was $6,380 and the same car would cost $23,180 today.
  • The Beta and VHS VCRs were both a small fortune.

Owners argued about which VCR was better much like today with game consoles and smartphones.  In the end, it was not quality that won the battle but price and the limited differences between the two units.

  • At low speed, the Beta was superior to the VHS when recording but with a limited recording time on Beta, VHS was superior.
  • The Beta had a smaller tape footprint so the Beta unit normally took up less space.
  • The movies you purchased on Beta could be judged as better but the quality was not worth a price tag of 30% more.

When Beta and VHS both came out, you had to order movies using the mail and they would cost anywhere from $60 when on sale to more than $100.

  • There were no video rental stores established so your options were to purchase the movies or record the movies on television so you would capture commercials.
  • The early VCRs also did not have timers to set recording times and if it took more than one tape to record, you had to put in a new tape when the original rewound and popped out with a clunk.

Based on price and other subtle reasons, the VHS VCR won the battle by the mid-80s so many of us were stuck with worthless Beta videotapes once our Beta VCRs broke down.

I thought I would never see a Beta VCR again until I reported to the USS Newport News (SSN-750) in 1994 and found four (4) Beta VCRs onboard.

  • The funny thing is the US Navy discontinued reel to reel movies and moved to Beta VCRs on submarines instead of VHS VCRs so nobody would pilfer the movies.
  • So, in a roundabout way, I am sure Beta recovered its investment after all since the Navy had purchased $10 hammers for $300 so each Beta VCR probably cost the Navy $30,000 each.
    • Think about it, there were 400 ships in 1994 with a minimum of four (4) Beta VCRs per ship for a total of 1,600 Beta VCRs.
    • The Navy’s invested value would probably be $48 million.
    • It looks like I should have invested in Beta VCRs after all.

Unluckily, VHS and Beta only paved the road for Video DVDs that came along not ten (10) years later. Since that time, technology has just marched on.

  • Beta and VHS VCRs may be obsolete but I still miss the first time I popped the Great Escape in and watched a movie on my schedule without commercials. What a feeling of freedom in the late 70s.
  • There are many other long-lived and short-lived formats that were utilized to watch movies at home but the VCR tape and DVD format were the leaders.

Although this was a quick overview about Beta and VHS, I must ask:

  • What did you first watch movies at home on? 
  • Did you prefer Beta or VHS?

Wishing you health, safety, and success. Isn’t it great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Belated Honeymoon To The Black Hills – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

When my bride and I were married in 1987, we immediately left for New London Connecticut after the wedding since I was on military orders from San Diego. Renee’s brother traveled with us since he could not find a well-paying job in North Dakota had just graduated high school, so the trip was not very romantic.

It was our plan to go on a honeymoon after we arrived in Connecticut but between pets, kids, submarines, tenders, retirement, civilian careers, etc, we never enjoyed a honeymoon. We went on vacations, weekend trips, day trips, and dates but never punched that ticket.

Our 25th anniversary occurred in 2012 and we planned to enjoy a belated honeymoon. Unluckily, I was advanced to SVP of Field Service during this same timeframe, so we held off on a honeymoon again.

After I left my job in 2016, we decided we were going to enjoy our belated honeymoon, but our budget would not allow us to travel to St. Thomas or Hawaii, so we decided to go tent camping and UTVing in the South Dakota Black Hills.

Renee planned the trip and licensed the UTV, so we could travel on the trails, logging roads, and highways legally. We took off without the kids and dogs for a week-long adventure in God’s country.

We arrived in Deadwood South Dakota and located the campground we were staying at. We unloaded the UTV from the trailer, set up the tent, and inflated the air mattresses.

There were a few hours before dusk, so we started running the logging roads and trails towards Mount Custer. We passed open fields, pastures, abandoned farms, and forest areas that were cut long ago.

Traveling around a corner at about 20 miles per hour (MPH) with the afternoon sun in our eyes, we hit a large rut in the road and I heard a loud scream from Renee.

We stopped immediately, and it was obvious that the seat belt dislocated Renee’s shoulder. I walked over to her side of the UTV and popped it back into the socket. Renee can be a tough old bird at times.

BH TrailsRenee Next To UTV All Good As New

We traveled on a skinny trail that wound around Mount Washington that started out about ten (10) feet wide at the bottom and ended up no more than five (5) feet wide at the top. The UTV is 50 inches wide and the drop off was 100 plus feet so we took our time until we arrived at the summit.

The view at the top of Mount Custer was inspiring and after taking in the beginning of dusk, we crept back down the trail and returned to camp to eat supper (dinner), finish setting up camp and start a fire to keep us warm.

Mt CusterMount Custer Half Way Up

Early the next morning, we were awakened to the sound of cows mooing. We slowly climbed out of the tent realizing that tent camping was much harder when you are fifty plus going on fifteen, but we would tough it out.

The sun was just breaking the eastern horizon and to our surprise, there was a herd of cattle in campground grazing on the campground grass and leaving organic landmines for unsuspecting patrons to enjoy.

As if that was not enough, cowboys’ road into the campground to herd the cattle back into the pasture they had escaped from. The trip had started out interesting.

CowThe Leader Of The Pack

We cleaned up, ate a light breakfast, and verified Renee’s shoulder was okay before we took off to ride trails and logging roads in the national forest.

During the next eight (8) hours, we put on roughly 100 hard miles climbing mountains, traveling through canyons, sitting by high mountain lakes, hiking stream beds, and enjoying a cold lunch that was perfect for God’s country.

Mounain LakeMountain Lake

That evening, we returned to camp and treated ourselves to supper at the small café at the lodge with a cold Coors. I would not travel twelve (12) hours to eat at the café again but I would enjoy the backroads of the Black Hills.

The next morning, we rolled off the air mattresses again (a little slower on day 2) and we were not greeted by a herd of cattle but instead by a few deer.

We ate breakfast and broke up the camp loading the UTV and all camping gear on the trailer. We were on the road by 8 AM to our next honeymoon destination, Medora, North Dakota.

It took us nearly thirty (30) years to enjoy our long overdue honeymoon. Although we were a little long in the tooth to tent camp for a week, we had a great week and fond memories.

It would be great to hear if you have experienced similar trips.

  • Are you overdue for a trip and what/where is the reason/destination?
  • Have you taken an overdue trip? Share details if you want.

Wishing you health, safety, and success. Tent camping is a little tougher when you are fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Sometimes The Best Decision You Can Make Is Saying “Your Fired” – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Never Stop

It is tough as a manager or as an employee to decide to fire an employee that works for you, the company you work for, and/or a company you do business with.

Sure, you can always figure out a reason to not fire but in most situations, if the thought passed your mind, it is probably the right decision.

I have been in this position during my military and civilian careers and I want to again state that if you have thought it, firing is probably the right decision.

In the military, it was extremely difficult to fire someone even when you had the proper documentation and historical issues.

During my time in the military, one situation is still painful since I tried to get the sailor removed from submarine service and was unsuccessful.

  • The reason why the sailor needed to be fired from submarine duty was mental instability. Mental health experts nixed my request and sadly, the kid committed suicide a few months after he was stationed on a submarine.

While in the military, there were many situations where personnel needed to be fired and may or not have been for many reasons.

  • The primary reason personnel was not fired was that the goal fleet size was 500 ships, so all sailors were critical.
  • Firing sailors normally involved transferring an individual from an operational vessel to a vessel in the shipyards of similar.
  • Some sailors were fired but if they were it was normally due to drugs, alternate lifestyles, or similar situations.

Late in my military career, it became much easier to fire people when the Navy was being downsized after the end of the cold war but that is not to say the best people were maintained.

Twenty (20) plus years ago I joined the civilian workforce after retiring from Navy and I quickly learned it was just as difficult to fire someone on the outside as in the military. I also learned that you could fire the company you worked for an experienced customer/vendor firing.

  • My first civilian job was a computer monitor repair facility In South Dakota whose primary customer was Gateway Computers. I worked as the assistant plant manager and quickly realized that it was difficult to terminate crackheads that damaged thousands of dollars of inventory so after six (6) months decided to fire the company.
  • I next worked for an international sales and service company as a remote technician in Iowa and once again it became clear that firing technicians that did not want to work were nearly impossible. Later I was advanced to a district management position and the management team goal was to overwork those that worked and live with those that did not work After Y2K, I fired this company.
  •    For the next sixteen (16) plus years, I worked for a sales and service company that had a goal to cover the entire US market. I started my career as a technician and ended it as the Senior Vice President Of Operations. We did a pretty good job of keeping our workforce cleaned up through firing and hiring until the company was placed on the market for sale in 2014. We were purchased in 2015 and challenges with new ownership and lack of scruples resulted in my firing them in early 2016.
  • In 2016, I started consulting for businesses and worked short term W2 jobs trying to find the right place for my third long-term career. I have fired several customers, vendors, employers, and employees during this timeframe and I still believe sometimes you need to say, “Your Fired”.

Saying “Your Fired” should be a two-way street between employers and employees much like between customers and businesses.

  • Perhaps that sounds harsh, but I have realized since leaving my second-long term career in 2016 is that if the relationship is not right in the first three (3) months, staying longer is not a recipe for success.
  • Furthermore, there have been many situations where I have run into individuals I have had to let go for various reasons and they thanked me because it helped them find a career that fits better.

Please leave comments and thoughts regarding this subject and specifically what are your thoughts on the following questions.

  • Have you ever fired an employer and was it best for you and the employer?
  • Have you ever been fired as an employee and was it best for you and the employer?

Appreciate your visiting my blog and wish you health, safety, and success. It is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Why Do I Write An Editorial Blog – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Jay on ATVRiding My ATV At Cloud 9
You may ask why someone would write an editorial blog and if anyone would read it when written since there are so many editorials out there. I cannot tell you why others do this but I can tell you why I do this.

The reason I blog is that I need a way to release my thoughts, concerns, etc., for personal, professional, and other reasons. How did I get here?

In 2015, my life went through a number of twists and turns that were unexpected but who can really anticipate twists and turns since they just happen. Some of these twists included:

  • My mother experienced a serious stroke during the Superbowl that resulted in her residing in a nursing home for the remainder of her life.
    • Weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly trips between North Dakota and Missouri the norm through all of 2015.
  • The company I worked for was sold to an investment company in March and with that sale, my position was significantly impacted even though I was asked to stay on for twelve (12) months.
    • Much travel was required for work between our Missouri and Illinois offices.
  • All other senior staff at the company I worked at were terminated by the end of 2017 except for myself.
    • I was the source of information for corporate history, information, and blame.

2016 ended up being a year of transition for me since the downhill trend continued from 2015.

  • The new management team and I disagreed on reporting accuracy.
    • Accurate reporting without massaging, tweaking, etc. was a must.
  • Decisions were made by the new management team with limited input from knowledgeable employees.
    • Changes impacting key competencies were made without being vetted.
  • I decided to move on and work as a consultant for other companies.
    • Increased flexibility to travel home to see my parents.

2017 rolled around and I decided to work as a full-time employee since I was not able to invest the time to develop a customer base for consulting so I had breaks between jobs.

  • I was hired by a local sales and service company to transition them from shrink mode to grow mode.
    • The company decided they did not want to go through the pain of transitioning so we parted ways.
  • After forty (40) years of working without a significant break, I decided to take some time to figure out what I wanted to do.
    • This is when I initially started to blog and research other options including franchises, full-time employment, sales, etc.
  • Being offered an opportunity to help develop sales and support for a small company that has a national presence, I decided to accept the offer.

Unluckily, in May 2017, my mother’s health continued to decline and she passed away after a long fight. I was devastated by her death even though I had years to prepare for it.

During this time, I also realized that I had not emotionally dealt with my professional life either and had to get right both personally and professionally.

I started writing a journal but over time that was not enough to deal with the issues listed above so I decided to write an editorial blog to:

  • Get right personally since I do not have my mom to talk to.
  • Share professionally since I do not have my long-established circle of employees, peers, etc.
  • Deal with issues, challenges, etc. regarding being fifty plus going on fifteen.
  • Provide a boost to those that are fifty plus since it is not a death sentence.
  • Vent as required.
  • What do you do to help maintain personal and professional stability?

I want to thank each of you for visiting this blog and wish you health, safety, and success. It is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson


37 Years Ago – The Journey – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen


Each of us has major dates that we remember including birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc.

Every year I have the pleasure of not only noting the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the birth of the Greatest Generation but also my enlistment anniversary into the United States Navy.

This year marks the 37th year since I swore the oath to “Protect and Defend” and left my childhood home of North Dakota for the big bad world I so desired to enter.

The night before I left was memorable since it was my last day of not having a care beyond my own selfish desires as an adolescent that knew everything but was dumb as a rock.

What was memorable about the day before I left for Fargo North Dakota and flew to Great Lakes Illinois for my first long-term career?

  • It was a cold day for December with the temperatures not passing twenty (20) degrees, the wind blowing from ten (10) to twenty (20) miles per hour (MPH), and it was snowing.
    • I remember it being a humid day with a bitter wind from the northwest.
  • I did not work the day prior to leaving since I had resigned from Dale’s Mobil since this was a planned transition.
    • The owner, Dale, is one of my special mentors.
  • My parents, sister and I went to Wagon Masters for the last meal before I ate boot camp chow hall food.
    • I worked for Wagon Masters as a cook as a teenager and loved the food.
  • Our dinner (supper) was interrupted by news that my friend’s (Mike) farmhouse was on fire.
    • Mike was my best man a few days later and passed to another realm at a young age.
  • Mike and his dog needed a ride back to town to stay with his parents and this was the last time I saw him until we hooked up a few years later.
    • The dog ate something that did not agree with him so we had to drive with the windows down in the bitter cold.

Winter Farmhouse

The next morning was an early morning for myself and I used my ticket to get on the bus with one (1) set of clothes, a few pictures and long hair to my name.

Being my first commercial bus ride, I quickly decided this was not a preferred method of transportation based on the odors emanating from the restroom.

I was thankful the ride lasted only two (2) hours on Interstate 94 and my first stop was Fargo North Dakota.

Once I arrived in Fargo, I was transported to the Fargo Airport and hopped on my first airplane flight to Ohara in Chicago Illinois. Flying was much better than taking a bus, but I still felt trapped.

The flight was uneventful, and I had to make my way to the bus that would transport me to Great Lakes Recruit Training Center after arriving at Ohara.

I quickly realized I was no longer in Kansas (North Dakota) anymore when I observed the skinheads, Hare Krishna, and other oddities (to me) roaming the airport.

The bus ride from Ohara to Great Lakes Recruit Training Center did not change my opinion about buses since this bus had the same odor the bus in North Dakota had.

I daydreamed as the bus bounced up Interstate 94 and finally the bus came to an abrupt stop and I was told this was my stop.

  • This made me think of the movie “Bus Stop” with Marilyn Monroe and that was a classic.
  • What events in your life do you clearly remember as a defining point in your life?

Stepping off the bus, I observed the gates and guardhouses at Great Lakes Recruit Training Center and had never felt so alone in my life.

Walking to the gate, I handed over my orders and it became very clear to me that I was a piece of meat from this point on.

I have always had great first impressions and guess what, I was a piece of meat for many weeks to come as I participated in boot camp.

Pearl Harbor Day will always be special to me for not only the obvious reasons but also because this is the day I became a sailor even though it was 39 years later.

Thanks for stopping by and may you have health, safety, and success. It is wonderful being fifty plus going on fifteen (50 plus going on 15).

Jay Patterson

My Fantasy Football Team Sucks In 2017 – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Like many of you out there, I love playing fantasy football amd have done so for a number of years.

Each year, I assemble solid teams but have never won the big one. I have made it to the big one but I have never won the big one.

You can compare my team to the real live Minnesota Vikings who have been to the dance many times but have never been picked to dance. Perhaps you can guess I am a lifelong Viking fan and will be til death.

The 2017 fantasy playoffs are approaching and I will go into the playoffs with a .500 record which is not bad but not good.

I still have a chance to end my season at slightly higher than .500 if my linebacker comes through for me but I have been down this path before so we shall see.

It is incredible the amount of games I have lost when players on the opposing teams rack up points playing garbage ball when their players get points when it is not possible for them to win. These losses are irratating for certain.

In 2017, I have experienced numerous injuries that I have tried to cobble together a replacement lineup but there have been challenges here since there are limited decent wide receivers and running backs left.

My quarterbacks are also middle of the road but again something needs to give and I am sure it will give.

One thing for certain in 2017 is that my passion for fantasy football follows my passion for the NFL which has been challenged in 2017 for politcal reasons. I still have not watched a game and wish everyone would just play the game.

Wish me luck as my average team enters the playoffs and perhaps I may have a few miracle players that help me win the big one.

In 2017, I have invested my need for sports into NHL Hockey and believe I am know ready to play fantasy hockey but that is an entire new level of involvement.

Think of it, 80 plus games in hockey compared to 16 for football. Players are constantly moving since there are minor leagues that feed the NHL all year long.

Fantasy hockey sounds pretty exiting to me so I believe this is my direction for 2018 but believe I will will also play fantasy football so I win the big one. We can all dream right.

Wishing you happiness, safety, and success. I sure love being fifty plus going on fifteen (50 plus going on 15).

  • What are your thoughts on fantasy football and/or fantasy hockey?
  • Have you ever one the big one?

Please feel free to comment and say hi.

Jay Patterson