Monday, March 19, 2007

Find Your Unwind

It happened while watching an episode of The Brady Bunch when I was probably six or seven. Mike the adoring father had purchased a pool table for the entire family to enjoy. Although they all seemed to enjoy playing pool it was Bobby, the youngest son, who took a special liking to game and appeared to be pretty good at it. In fact so good that he seemed to handily beat everyone in the family including many adults; several of Mike's friends who were over for a party if I recall.

Click here for the Wiki listing of the original date of the episode. It's near the bottom. Yes I know...I am a geek!

That's when it happened....I wanted a pool table! I begged and begged my parents for one but realistically there was no room at our house. I remember going to bed a night dreaming of owning my own pool table and being the next Minnesota Fats. I hate to admit it but I even befriended a snarfy kid whom most couldn't stand just because I had heard his parents owned a pool table. It turned out that despite wrangling many invites to his house the kid hated pool and rarely would let us play. Like I said snarfy! My word...don't make fun of it.

In fourth grade my good friend Darren and his brother got a bumper pool table. I begged my parents for was smaller and would make an excellent addition to my room I thought. They apparently thought differently and thus my months and months of begging feel on deaf and extremely annoyed ears. So instead I would get up extra early to arrive at my friend's house by 6:50AM every day (and yes I do mean every single day) so we could play for a good twenty minutes before heading to down to our elementary school. To say we were obsessed would be an understatement.

I purchased my very own pool table when I turned 24. It was the first big purchase that I allowed myself after starting my first company. Despite the table being in my garage (where during one heated game in July the temperature reached 123 degrees) initially, it quickly became a fun way to pass the time and to relieve whatever stress I might be feeling at the time.

These days it resides in the infamous "game room" surrounded my all of my collectibles and fun things (pictured above). My game room is my own private sanctuary and escape portal. where cussing, beer drinking and the occasional body sound effect is completely allowed. Whenever I have my pool cue in my hand, a cold beer on my bar and some good rock (for my more hyper days) or some smooth jazz (for my more mellow moods), life somehow magically returns to balance.

Playing pool has become my ideal way to unwind and gather my thoughts. Many of my inspirational ideals for this BLOG have come while pushing that little white ball around and (hopefully) dropping a few balls in the pockets. There is something magical about playing the game that calms me and truly makes me feel at peace. It is almost euphoric.

In our hectic lives I think it is imperative to find your unwind. Whether it be a place to chill out or a hobby that you enjoy so much that it consumes you. Having these minor distractions allows us to be sane. It helps us to recharge and reposition our perspective.

Whether it is playing pool, doing a little Playstation 2 or XBox (my other passion), or simply taking a walk and listening to the birds chirp and chutter as they settle in for the need to find your unwind. It makes those times of stress and craziness all seem worth it.

Care to share what your unwind is? Join us on the Ripple Yahoo Community! It's easy, it's free and as simply as clicking here to join!

Don't have an unwind? Find one! Period...end of story.

And if you ever happen to be in the North Austin area and want to play a few games of eight ball, you know who to call!

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper

P.S. Did you miss this weekend's RIPPLE ON NEWS AND NOTES? Well don't miss another one! Be sure to sign up to be added to our distribution list on the front page of

Okay....I will give you the link to this past edition of RIPPLE ON NEWS AND NOTES so you can just check out before you sign up. Geez!!! :-)



Carlon Haas said...

Great post, but I am a little confused. If you play pool so much, then how come you can't beat your buddy Carlon who only plays about once every 2 years?

starbucker said...

Hey Steve, thanks for visiting my blog - I swear I didn't steal your ripple effect idea. :-)

As for my "unwind", I'd have to say it's blogging itself. It's my opportunity to pull myself away from all the other "stuff" - I may blog about it, but from a different perspective. That's what was missing before I started doing this - the chance to look from outside the fishbowl.

PS: I loved the Brady Bunch too....pork chops and apple sauce.... ;-)

Steve Harper said...

First Carlon....I let you win. I feel sorry for you. Now if you want me to take you to school....I am happy to do so next time!

Second, that episode of pork chops and apple sauce. Thanks to you I can't get Peter Brady's image out of my head all day!

Ripple On Fellas!



Anonymous said...


I submitted a request to speak with you on your contact form this afternoon. My organization is interested in bringing your very unique and interesting approach to a conference we are doing in Chicago in August. Look forward to meeting the man behind the BLOG.

Rippler On!

Sheila Robertson
Atlanta, Georgia

Drew McLellan said...


Ahh, you are my brother from a different mother! We got all our life lessons from bad 70's and 80's TV!

And I believe it was Mike's boss who played Bobby (in the garage) for money.

I'm working on the unwind my friend...I am working on it.