October 27, 2013
Today, my friend was buried. Tony was 48 years old and in the prime of his life. Beautiful wife and children, great lifestyle, great career, and a solid cornerstone of faith.
While our friendship goes back to High School, then Va Tech, then the Accounting firm Peat Marwick, our friendship blossomed in Tony's 19 years at Uttermost. We shared many passions together, we worked long hours together, we worked out together, we traveled around the globe together.
Tony, our Lord and Savior called you home early, but I'll see you again some day. My prayers to your family. Love you buddy.
September 18, 2013
Last week, enjoyed working Maison & Objet in Paris. Incredible product displays, great color combinations, innovative product, and enthusiastic people. We also spent a day at Les Puces, the world's oldest and largest flea market.
So much to see and absorb related to work, but check out these cool cars and dogs.
September 3, 2013
The last post on Thomas was 3 years ago, see below. Thomas is now a cancer survivor and doing well. Thomas did lose his front right leg in his battle with bone cancer, but not his zest for life. He is relatively pain free today and very mobile.
Thomas is pictured in Florida, lounging by the pool. Fortunately for Thomas, this is not his first visit to Florida this year.
June 15, 2013
Capri will be missed. It's hard to leave the beauty of this small Italian island. The deep blue water, the brightly painted fishing boats, the sun baked homes nestled into the limestone rock. It's easy to see why Capri has been a resort since the time of the Roman Empire.
What we bring home are memories. Memories shared with family. Memories.
Miss You Nate
December 21, 2012
Nate, the star of many ads in Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, etc, lost his battle this week to lymphoma.
Nate was diagnosed with lymphoma about a year ago, and responded well to treatments for awhile. He seemed to feel good and was nearly his old self. Recently however, he began to struggle more and finally reached the point this week where he couldn’t fight any more.
While we don’t know how old Nate was, we do know that he was well loved the past seven years in our home.
Nate was rescued from the local county animal shelter, where he was malnourished, had skin disease, dental problems, and a seriously broken leg. The volunteers who saw him at the shelter had to carry him to the car as he couldn’t even stand. Due to the long period of not being treated, his leg had to be amputated.
Nate’s recovery surpassed everyone’s expectations. Nate quickly learned to walk and even run on three legs. Even when he would fall, he would cheerfully get up and go again. He loved being loved, and showed this with a wagging tail for every hug.
This week, we were able to all say our good-bye’s to Nate. We miss you Nate.
Good to be home.
November 2, 2012
The first thing I noticed when I arrived home was the clean air and the blue sky. Granted, we live in the country, but this even applies to the Chicago airport where we changed planes.
We had spent a week in China before going to India. China was cloudy most days, so we never really did see the sun. Then in India, not sure if it was sunny or cloudy as the smog was so bad. Hard to believe unless you see it, but India even seemed smoggy inside their modern Delhi airport.
If you live without smog and pollution every day, you easily forget how blessed we are to have clean skies. But on this day, I’m breathing deep and loving it.
Our farm in Virginia
RUGS, RUGS, RUGS!
August 30, 2012
We love our rugs. For most of this year and part of last year, rugs have been a huge focus for many of us. Can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on for so long. Rugs will debut at the fall High Point market.
Jeff, Mac, and One Cool Kid.
November 16, 2011
Spent the morning visiting an orphanage in Delhi, India. Delivered a truckload of much needed medicine, and received some huge smiles in return.
These children are awesome, but very much in need of loving families of their own. This orphanage is well managed, with children ranging from newborns to age 3, and from very likely to be adopted to virtually no chance. Heart breaking. Will continue to pray for these children.
Enjoying our Work
November 11, 2011
Just back from India this afternoon. Very successful trip, but exhausting. To keep our time away from home as short as possible, we work very long days, and then nights are more work, social, or travel. Did I mention exhausting? We reviewed probably 2000 items, primarily from three countries, by eight different Designers, from over 50 factories including our own factory, with staff from China, the US, Indonesia, and India. A whirlwind. Great trip and great to be home. By the way, the Lord answers prayers. The sciatic pain going down my leg due to my ruptured disc got better every day of the trip. I've had intense pain since August 10th, and amazingly it started decreasing right before we left. Thank you Lord!
My New Friend!
November 10, 2011
Cows are sacred in India, and roam the streets eating whatever they want. This is a dirt road outside of Delhi. Probably not smart, but I made a friend.
November 7, 2011
An amazing blend of cultures, but all part of Uttermost. Pictured is Tan Yen, a Christian who runs our Indonesian office. With her is Asri, a Muslim from our Indo staff. They are enjoying American pizza and coke in our China office.
October 29, 2011
I don't get too stressed normally, but I am very concerned about the China/India flying before us. It will be days/nights sitting on a plane, yet I can't stand to sit for more than a few minutes due to my ruptured disc. I've been standing at my computer at work for years, but now any sitting is painful. Need lots of prayer to get through this trip. I will admit that my leg pain has diminished just slightly this weekend, and we leave on Wednesday.
September 21, 2011
I have an addiction. This word might be a little strong, but the older I get, the more I value being able to work out and play sports. Somehow when you are in your 20's and pain-free, it's hard to appreciate the abilities and health God has given you.
My favorite sport now is singles tennis, and tennis is probably the reason I'll have an epidural tomorrow at Duke. Large extruded disc pressing on my sciatic nerve. Not fun, and I'm at week 5 with this.
I'm still trying to be as active as I think I can get away with, but it's tough. My routine of an ab session before 7am with a few guys at work, tennis or lifting at lunch, and then an exercise machine at night while going through my mail is not possible now. Yes, I'm addicted, and struggling with changing my habits. My physical therapist told me that if I have trouble putting my socks and shoes on in the morning, tennis doesn't make much sense. Guess he's right.
August 2, 2011
Even if you don't agree with his politics, pretty cool meeting President Clinton at the Vegas market. As President, he certainly made an impact in the US and beyond. Today, he is much more involved in humanitarian efforts, including his work with President Bush in Haiti, several countries in Africa, etc.
While we may not agree on some points, I think most of us do believe that America is a blessed nation, and as a blessed nation, we can't ignore the suffering in so much of the world.
Thank you President Clinton for lending your influence to help some of those who need it the most.
Mayor of Florence?
June 6, 2011
Nobody messes with this guy. Here he is, a large bulldog with a Gucci collar, sitting in the middle of the shopping district of Florence, Italy. Not only was he totally at ease with tourists taking his picture, he seemed to like it. What a life.
June 5, 2011
Venice. One of a kind. Re-defines the word antique. Special time with my family for the first week of their summer break. Even though it rained nearly every day, it was a beautiful, memorable experience that we will all remember. Simply following the narrow walkways and bridges, we came across incredible views, fifth generation shops, cool restaurants, and plenty of gelato. Daughters will have their own families one day, and I'll sure miss times like this.
China, Two Worlds
November 4, 2010
Where else do you have some of the world's most sophisticated highways and infrastructure, yet trucks that look like they were made with lawn mower parts? Cool ride, but not for new China highways.
November 3, 2010
Now this guy likes his job. You see him early morning, and he's smiling. Lunch time, smiling. Then at the end of the day, still smiling. Either his job is much more fun than mine, or he really knows how to see the glass as half full. I think all of us could learn a great deal from our friend in China. Shown with Ed Jackson, Uttermost QC Manager.
Not Exactly Wimbledon
November 2, 2010
Squeezing in some late night tennis in China. First time playing on artificial grass. Not a great surface, but a great mental break from our long work days when overseas. Show with Ken Delp, VP of Operations. I lost, but not without a fight.
August 5, 2010
I almost enjoyed my Father's Day gift last week. It was a scheduled weekend tennis clinic at a nice resort with my family. Unfortunately, on the night we arrived, we received a call that our loyal Thomas was lost.
Thomas is one of our very humble, very dependent rescue dogs. After he was pulled from a South Carolina shelter with no time left, he suffered with a terrible case of heart worm that nearly killed him. So what do you do when your Thomas is in need?
We rushed home, spent most of the night searching, and all I found was a lot of ticks, chiggers, and poison oak. Fortunately, Thomas found his way to a nice neighbors by morning. All ended well except for me scratching for a week and then coming down with lyme disease. All for the love of Thomas.
In the Blink of an Eye
July 30, 2010
Our small town lost two of it's most experienced, most capable firefighters this week.
In a rush to a house fire, a collision resulted in their fire truck flipping multiple times. I hope this devastating loss will be a reminder to all of us that life is short. Appreciate what is important, ignore what isn't, and be prepared for Eternity.
Our prayers are with the families of these firefighters.
October 8, 2009
My wife’s grandmother Vickie died this morning at the age of 92. She woke up at her normal time of 6 am, had breakfast and coffee, told her caretaker she loved her, then said she was tired and went back to bed. Shortly after this, she went home to the Lord.
At the same time, many of us at work as well as my wife and daughter at home were photographing the most beautiful sunrise in memory. It’s as if the Lord put the beauty of Heaven on display welcoming Vickie home. We’ll see you again some day Vickie!
Photo taken by my daughter at home
The American Worker
September 10, 2009
The US auto industry has been sharply criticized in many ways, especially the guys in charge. While all industries have their challenges, I could not be more impressed with our new GM Denali. We’ve owned many different cars ranging from the Ford truck I drive to BMW’s and Range Rovers, but this Denali is as well-engineered and well-built as any car I’ve driven.
To all the folks at GM, thank you for making great cars. And to all hard working American’s, thank you for taking pride in what you do.
Honor and Ethics
August 20, 2009
Webster has many definitions for these words, but my definition is simply “doing what is right even when no one is looking”.
My first and only experience on a witness stand taught me some great lessons on honor and ethics. I was on the witness stand for six hours, and have never been more appreciative of how we run our business. At the same time, I experienced a lawyer who seemed to have no regard for truth.
This lawsuit proved to be frivolous and we recovered legal fees, but I learned a great deal. Honor and ethics do matter, even when no one is looking.
Hero for a Season?
August 18, 2009
Last August, my brother and I had the privilege to visit the Beijing Olympics. The trip was memorable in many ways, including our interaction with Matt Biondi, hero of the ’88 Olympics. Matt is in the Olympic and International Hall of Fame, won a total of 11 Olympic medals, and set four world records in just the ’88 Olympics.
What was cool about Matt is that despite his accomplishments, he is just a nice, humble guy. Outside of a few Olympic events, he now leads a normal life in Hawaii with his wife and three children. His exercise is riding his bike to work as a math teacher.
My hat is off to Matt.
August 4, 2009
Sorry it’s been so long since my last entry. I promise to do better.
Life is good, business is tough, God is great, and we’re still running. Pictured below is my family plus a friend just after we all ran a 5k race.
January 25, 2009
What a fun age. Not talking about my “middle age” of 45, but our daughters. They are so full of joy, laughter, and personality, yet STILL like being with Mama and Daddy. Children today grow up much too fast. Be sure to stop and “smell the roses” with your children and grandchildren. They are a gift and a blessing.