Facing Our Challenges

Each day brings us a new challenge. The challenges unforeseen. The challenges, some small and some great. The challenges, at times shaking us to a very core. The challenges, looking at us, laughing at us, asking us if we are man or woman enough to face them head on and not back down. In this brief YouTube video get inspired to meet your challenges. Listen to Morgan Freeman recite William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus, the poem Nelson Mandela turned to for strength while in prison.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail Big

The words were spoken by Denzel Washington at a commencement speech. Like you and me, Denzel Washington wasn’t born on third base, he failed, worked hard and continued to work hard. Failure didn’t stop him. Discouragement didn’t stop him. He dared to dream. He dared to aspire to big dreams. And, he dared to use his success to build others and create success stories beyond his own. Get Inspired. Dream Big.

My Plate’s Full Tonight

Farlo glanced at Joey G channeling Clint Eastwood. Tina still sat in the hub of the garbage truck gnawing on rib bones. Farlo looked over to the three stooges and started laughing. It wasn’t a fake laugh. It was one of those deep belly laughs, the kind that once they start you can’t stop. He bent over, placed his hands on his knees and was taking in huge gulps of air. Tears were streaming down his face.

The taller of the two tough dudes said, “What’s so funny, old dude?”

Farlo looked up at the taller of the two tough dudes, “Your fly’s open.”

The taller of the tough two dudes reached down and felt for his zipper. He quickly zipped up his fly. “Thanks, man. I got an image on the street. If I want to collect protection money and sell drugs, I can’t do it with my fly down. Hey, what are you laughing at?” The taller of the tough two dudes whacked the smaller of the tough two dudes on the arm.

“Pick on someone your own size. That hurt,” said the smaller of the tough two dudes.

The tough dame looked at Farlo, “You are one cool dude. What are you doing tonight? There’s a place I like, it’s called O’Rourke’s. Want to meet up after you rescue Harry J?”

Farlo said, “Nothing I’d like better tough dame, but I got my plate full tonight. Joey G has an opening at ten.”

Joey G waved at the tough dame.

The tough dame said, “He’s not cool like you, but he’s kind of cute. Okay Clint, see you at ten. Harry J is in room 110. He’s waiting for you. BTW, tell Filo we’re repaying all the collection money. It was our cover while we waited for you.”

Joey G said, “You guys weren’t selling drugs?”

“Only idiots use that stuff. What do you take us for? We was only passing out packets of vitamin C before flu season set in,” said the smaller of the two tough guys.

“You’re not the Manchurian mob?” asked Joey G.

“Manchurian mob? You reading comic books or watching cable? We work for Filo,” said the taller of the two tough guys.

“Nice seeing you again, Farlo,” they said in unison. The taller and shorter tough guys fist bumped Farlo, turned and followed the tough dame back into the building.

Tomorrow, Farlo and Joey G finally catch sight of Harry J. What’s gives? Will we meet Filo?

Dare To Go All In

It’s time to assess the quality of our dreams. Are our dreams big enough? Do they challenge us to give it everything we’ve got and hold nothing back? If we look inside, what is depth of the commitment we are willing to make to go after the dream. In this 48 second YouTube video Arnold Schwarzenegger inspires us to go all in after a big dream or not go at all. What is your decision? I know mine.

He’s Channeling Dirty Harry

Three tough looking dudes and one tough looking dame came out the back door and stared at the garbage truck first, Farlo second, and Joey G third. The dame stepped in front of the two dudes and spoke to Farlo, “What gives? Trash pickup isn’t until tomorrow.”

Farlo said, “I know that. You know that. You know who doesn’t know that?”

The tough dame said, “Who?”

“The city. The buffoons who run this show are squeezing the crap out of the little guy. They got us working a double shift. It’s thrown everything off.”

The taller of the tough dudes said, “I think he’s right. There sons of bitches down there. I remember when I was busted for dealing dope, they didn’t let me call my lawyer for twenty-four hours.”

Farlo said, “You still selling? My partner and me can use some.”

“It depends,” said the taller of the two tough dudes.

“Depends on what?” said Farlo.

“How much cash you got,” said the taller of the tough dudes.

The smaller of the tough dudes and the tough dame were now interested in the conversation.

“Let’s see the color of your money,” said the taller of tough dudes.

“It’s green. Don’t give me the stuff you watch on cable TV. I’ve been around the block. I don’t think you’ve got drugs. You want to take my cash. Not going to happen taller of the tough two dudes,” snapped Farlo.

“Wait a minute old dude. How do you know my name?” said the taller of the tough two dudes.

“Who you calling old dude? I hope you were talking to small piece of crap next to you and not me. Because if you were talking to me I’m going to give you Harry Morton’s number.”

“Who’s this Harry Morton? He wants some drugs?” asked the taller of the tough two dudes.

“He’s over on Rey Street, he’s an undertaker. Because you and your two stooges are going to be laid out there. He does the pro bono work for the city.”

Joey G had worked his way back and opened the passenger side door, “What are you doing. These guys are bad. Let’s get out of here.”

“Go back to the last pile of garbage you picked up and see if you dropped your attitude in there,” growled Farlo. Tina said, “Grrrrrrr.”

Joey G ran around the front of the garbage truck. He stopped in front of Farlo’s door. He spread his legs apart, he placed his hands on his hips and stared at the two tough hombres and one tough mujer. “You want a piece of him, turkey. Maybe I should say gerbils, you have to come through me. If you want to come through me, you’re going to be in rehab for the next five years.”

Farlo reached out the window and tapped Joey G on the shoulder, “What the hell are you doing?”

Joey G half turned his head around and said, “I’m channeling Clint Eastwood from one of his Dirty Harry movies.”

“You know they were movies, right?” said Farlo as he opened the door. Farlo stepped out of the garbage truck, pushed Clint Eastwood or Joey G, take your pick, aside.

“You want a piece of him, you’re going to have to come through me,” snarled Farlo, taking an aggressive step toward the three stooges.

The tough dame took a step forward, “I’m not afraid of you, old dude. Before I take you out, I have a question.”

“I only have time for one question, so don’t try to sneak two questions in to your one question. I can spot the double question as easily as a robin finds a worm. But if you got a question and want an answer, I got a question for you. I’ll ask mine first, then you can ask yours second.”

“Yah,” said Joey G backing up Farlo.

“That’s not fair, I said I had a question first, so I should go first,” said the tough dame.

“Yah,” said the two tough guys in unison.

Farlo said, “I got back up in the front seat. You want a piece of her there won’t be enough left of you to stuff a turkey on Thanksgiving.”

The smaller of the two tough guys said, “There’s only one dame who’s tougher than us and it’s the tough dame right here.”

The tough dame did an Arnold Schwarzenegger body builder’s pose and flexed her right bicep.

Joey G whispered to Farlo, “She’s got great guns.”

“You three really want to dance? You can save yourself a lot of pain by packing up and moving out of town. Before you do, I want to know where you’re parking Harry J.”

Joey G whispered, “Offer to have a beer with them like you did earlier with the Nazi’s.”

Farlo whispered back, “Channel the caped crusader.”

“I don’t like Batman. I like Ironman.”

The three stooges locked arms, stood in front of the door. The tough dame said, “You want Harry J, you’re going to have to come through us.”

Will Farlo, Tina, and Joey G rescue Harry J? Will they find out why Harry J is so important? What is Filo’s role in all of this? Who is Filo?

Paco’s Tacos & The Garbage Truck

Farlo took a right onto Alameda. He straightened the truck out, and jammed the  brakes. Unfortunately, he stopped in the middle of the road causing the car behind him to veer to left to avoid back ending the garbage truck. Veering to the right would have been a better course of action. The driven collied head on with Paco’s Taco food truck. Fortunately, both were traveling under the legal 30 MPH limit.

“You don’t know how to drive. I bet you don’t have a license,” said Joey G.

“Watch it, kid. Just because I gave you a name with an attitude, doesn’t give you permission to toss your attitude at me. Get out and get three bags of tacos from Paco. Use Martinez’s credit card. While you’re waiting ask Paco he knows the location of the crack house.”

“You are so prejudiced. How do you know the food truck operator’s name is Paco? The used it because it’s clever advertising. It’s easy to remember, ” said Joey G.

Farlo gave him a look. Then said, “I almost have my evening set up if we can rescue Harry J within the hour. Don’t mess this up on me. Take Tina with you for backup.”

Joey unbuckled, kicked around the Starbucks cups on the floor and the carry all. He got out, Tina followed.

“Where do you think you’re going?” barked Farlo.

“I’m going to get tacos and info,” said Joey G.

“Not until you police your garbage and clean your side of the car. You’re taking advantage of Martinez.”

“Me? You got to be kidding,” Joey G came right back.

“Tina!” growled Farlo.

Tina jumped on Joey G’s chest and went eyeball to eyeball, vicious mouth to quivering lips.

“Okay, okay, call her off. I’ll clean it up.”

“That’s better. Tina watch him,” said Farlo.

Ten minutes later Joey G returned to the garbage truck carrying three bags of tacos. Tina right behind him in case a taco dropped out of the overladen bags. He opened the door, climbed into the passenger seat. Tina crawled in behind him and waited for her feast. Joey put Tina’s bag between the driver and passenger seat. He didn’t have a chance to take the tacos out of the bag. Tina was all over it, like flies on flypaper, bear on honey, and plaque on un-flossed and un-brushed teeth.

“Well?” said Farlo.

“How did you know his name was Paco? Don’t tell me. I have more important information. The crack house is not a crack house. It’s a clothing store specializing in pants and underwear for plumbers. It’s just up the street.”

“I got to give them credit. Who would’ve figured that a crack house for plumbers would be a front for Manchurian mob?” said Farlo as a matter of fact.

“The Manchurian mob? Are they dangerous? What are they doing with Harry J? They’ll probably kill us. Can’t we say we tried and Harry J was collateral damage? Boy, these tacos are the best,” added Joey G.

Farlo took a bite, he turned to his right and saw Tina staring at him. Tina finished her six tacos and wanted to order seconds. Farlo took his bag of tacos and placed it on the floor. “Enjoy them girl. You earned it.”

Farlo put the garbage truck in gear and waved at Paco as he pulled by the food truck. Paco hollered, “Hey, the homeless creep who tried to tell me his name was Martinez didn’t tell me they was for you, man. Next time it’s on the house.”

“Not a problem, Paco. Give Maria and Paco junior a hug for me.”

“Will do, man. Be careful. There are some bad dudes in the crack house. They make me pay protection for selling on this street.”

“No more. You’re all paid up. I’ll talk to them,” said Farlo.

“You the man, Farlo. Anything I can do for you, you name it.”

“Adios, Paco.”

“Via con dios, Farlo,” said Paco.

Farlo drove under the speed limit down Alameda. He said, “It’s a bit more complicated. I promised Paco we’d convince the Manchurian mob to stop asking protection money.”

“Don’t forget about Harry J. How do you know Paco?” asked Joey G.

“It’s a long story. I’ll give you executive summary. I met him. I did him a favor. We have a history.”

“That’s an executive summary? You didn’t tell me anything,” complained Joey G.

“Exactly. Get your head in the game. The Crack House is up on the right.”

Farlo took a right down an alley way and at the end of the alley way, he took a left down another alley way. Trash was lined on both sides of the alley. He stopped the garbage truck behind the Crack House.

“Get out and start collecting garbage and putting it into the truck.”

“Why? I’m not a garbage man?” said Joey G.

“You are now, kid. Get into the part before I toss you into the garbage.”

“You ever hear of the word please?” asked Joey G.

“No. Move it.”

Will Farlo, Tina, and Joey G finally rescue Harry J? Will Farlo convince the Manchurian mob to stop collecting protection money from Paco? Who’s Filo?

Do You Have The Fire?

Do you have the fire? Is it burning bright enough to drive you through today? Is it burning bright enough to overcome discouragement, disappointment, and failure? The fire is within you. Perhaps it is only a glowing ember. Fan the ember, turn the ember into a raging fire. to fuel your passion. The following short YouTube video is one man’s story of rising out of poverty to achieve his goals. He talks about failure. He talks about discouragement. And, he talks about perseverance and the courage to continue to fan the flames.