Fish that eat brown algae aren’t quite as voluminous as one might think, especially in regards to those you can introduce to your fish tank to keep this under control. Brown algae most commonly appears in a tank in the first month before it has stabilized and may disappear just as quickly. Even with proper cleaning, filtering, and low level light brown algae can thrive and out compete the more common green algae. As it would take a full book to detail every brown algae eating fish, or those that can adapt it to their diet, occurring in nature what will be discussed here are those that can be adapted domestically to carry out this task.

For starters if brown algae appears in an established tank it is likely the phosphate and mitrate levels are off and it is in need of a thorough substrate cleaning. Silicates allow brown algae to thrive so a phosphate absorbing resin may be necessary as well as introducing a brown algae eating fish or two into the tank. The problem with introducing some of the most effective brown algae eating fish to a tank is the have trouble acclimating to the tank so several may be needed initially as they sometimes have a short life span.

The most effective brown algae eating fish falling into that category is the otocinclus catfish. For a large tank you’ll need several as maybe only three or four will survive the transition. They clear a tank of brown algae as fast if not faster than any fish you can introduce to the tank. Once they have cleared the initial problem it is unlikely it will ever return so long as they remain in the tank. This is the first and best choice for this task.

Common plec (Hypostomus punctatus, Glyptopericthys multradiatus, and others in the family) are vigorous algae eaters feeding on not just brown algae but green and brush algae as well. That is a huge upside although they do come with a downside. The problem with common plecs is they outgrow tanks fairly easily and as they get larger they wreak havoc on planted tanks. In a very large tank with few plants they are slightly less of a problem, but they then are less effective and necessary than the otocinlus catfish which is more docile.

The Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) which is often confused with the flying Fox eats brown, green and brush algae. While it takes on these three types of algae it isn’t as vigorous in it’s efforts and several may be required to keep a tank in check. The Chinese Algae Eater/Sucking Loach (Gyrinoceilus aymonien) will eat algae at a ferocious rate when young but isn’t a good long term solution. As they age they tend to stop eating algae, they grow too large for most tanks, and get aggressive as well which isn’t necessarily what many owners want.

The Bristlenose (Ancistrus) catfish does an excellent job controlling brown algae and grow from four to ten centimeters at the maximum. Peckolita catfish are a bit risky as they can be expensive and not all will eat algae so it is hit or miss with these sometimes. Finally Whiptail catfish can be efficient algae eaters and are a good choice in medium sized tanks although they can also be expensive and require good water quality and care.

That is a quick look at the best brown algae eating fish you can introduce to a home tank along with some of their good and bad traits. You are best advised to go with the Otocinclus catfish for most of your needs concerning brown algae as they have an excellent temperament and do the best job clearing and maintaining tank quality in regards to brown algae. Whatever you chose just be aware of the long term as well as the immediate goal.


Dealing with the problems that arise in a marriage by cutting out the intimate portion out of the relationship is never a good idea and rarely if ever works. Sure it may work in the movies or on television, but everything works out in the allotted time slot when you visit the world of make believe. That is not reality and those are not real relationships. Facing marital problems by stopping intimacy is not only a bad idea, it often only serves to make matters worse.

A healthy physical relationship is one of the cornerstones to any marriage along with love, trust, and communication. They are all necessary to any strong foundation. Assuming the problem you are dealing with is not sexual in nature it makes no sense to end it. A doctor is not going to remove a healthy lung to treat broken leg which is akin to what you are doing when you cease physical intimacy because you are perhaps experiencing a communication problem or some other issue. If anything, a good healthy physical relationship can help heal wounds and stave off future problems. The simple fact is that sex feels good and it makes people happy. Happy people are more receptive people which is exactly what you need to work through problems.

Denying the physical portion of a marriage is doing nothing more than throwing up a barrier. It is creating a problem where none exists which only exacerbates the existing problem. It is punishing both parties involved because we are not going to pretend that both parties in a marriage do not equally enjoy the physical aspect of it. Think logically for a moment and ask yourself if it makes sense to punish each other for having a problem by creating another problem? Simply cutting of physical intimacy does not solve the old problem nor does it replace it. All it serves to do is temporarily shift the focus from one issue to another. Eventually this will build to the point where yet another issue will have to be created to again shift focus in a vicious never ending circle of denial and avoidance.

While I cannot cite any scientific studies on how stopping intimacy is bad for a marriage, I don’t need to. I can tell you from experience it is a horrendous tactic when it comes to conflict resolution. It’s not just true because of the above mentioned reasons, but because the physical portion of a relationship carries with it a certain intangible power that for lack of a better word or phrase just makes things work. Every portion of a relationship comes into play when being intimate with your spouse.

Simply put physical intimacy with one’s spouse is necessary for a healthy well rounded relationship. It is not a panacea for all the ills you will encounter, but it can be a part of the solution. Using it as a weapon or punishment via withholding it is to take away all the innate good it can do. Of course you don’t have to take my word for it, but if you would like to avoid some potentially nasty issues that are unnecessary, don’t make the mistake of trying to end physical intimacy as a means of dealing with unrelated issues.

The things women wish men knew stretches well beyond the magic number of ten, and the same could be said in reverse in all fairness. There really is no universal set of answers all women are likely to agree with on this topic, but there certainly are ten things it is safe to say most women wish men knew. In no particular order as each reason can easily swing up or down the list depending on a persons mood that day or the man in question, the top ten things women wish men knew are presented for your consideration, debate, and amusement. Why not have a little fun while making a point?

10. Women wish men knew we had a brain that processes information beyond cooking, cleaning, and finding creative ways to stretch their mans credit limit. The fact is women think about the same things men do, just from a slightly different angle in most cases. If men knew this imagine how much easier communication would be?

9. Staying with communication, women really like it when you look them in the eye when having a conversation. In case a guy isn’t aware of how to do that, just tilt your head slightly up so you are no longer staring at her chest. You are not Superman, and those x-ray specs you got from Bazooka Joe wrappers are not going to work any better now than they did when you were a kid.

8. Women are not turned on by really bad pick up lines. Telling a woman her dress would look great on your bedroom floor is not going to make that happen. If you really want to meet a woman, just introducing yourself works far better and is more likely to save you from seeing what she learned in her crotch punching class the previous week.

7. Unless you are the father of her children, or one of her children for that matter, women really don’t want you call them mommy, momma, mom, or any derivative of that moniker. A few may, but for the most part that isn’t going to fly. It’s just a bit on the creepy side and creates too many disturbing mental images.

6. Real women are not like the ones portrayed in men’s magazines. You will not find a real woman in the middle of a field straddling the hood of a car in camouflage lingerie for no apparent reason. In fact it is likely she will never have any reason to do this. That is something which is your fantasy, not likely hers, so don don’t expect it to ever really happen no matter how many years you make it your birthday wish when blowing out the candles.

5. Women want men to know that it is considered justifiable homicide if you try to compare the pain felt stubbing your toe to the pain they felt carrying and delivering children. Women realize that stubbed toe, jammed finger, or paper cut may really hurt, but when it comes to comparing it to child birth, just don’t go there. No jury will convict her when the case goes to trial.

4. Women for the most part are not going to consider getting something like a vacuum cleaner a desired or acceptable anniversary or birthday gift. That is unless of course it comes with a new house to use it in, or perhaps even a room in the house that was renovated just for their own personal sanctuary. Women want you to know when it comes to gifts, we’d rather get something with some meaning that lets us know you were really thinking about us. Please don’t use the line of thinking which starts with “I knew your car needed an oil change…” and ends with “here’s 4 quarts of top grade Penzoil!” That is not the type of thought that is going to work well.

3. Women want you to know that sometimes just offering to help out is better than actually helping out. If your lady takes care of the chores in the house and your domain is outside the house, it might be a good idea to not encroach on her space. Yes the laundry may be backed up, and she may be very busy, but if you aren’t too swift with that chore, don’t do it. Chances are you’ll make things worse. Just offer so she knows you are willing to help. In most cases she wants that far more than shrunken newly pink, formerly white underwear. You likely feel the same way.

2. Women want men to know being doted over is fine, in fact it is charming. Being stalked is flat out creepy. There are few things worse than a man that constantly hovers over a woman tracking her every move. It screams insecurity, lack of trust, and some serious needy behavior. None of those traits are attractive.

1. Finally women want me to know that we enjoy sex just as much as they do, but we’d like a little foreplay first. You warm the car before driving it in the winter, the oven is pre-heated before going into use, sex is like that in a way. If you try to crank it up cold you are not gong to get the best results. Also note, just saying “you look pretty”, or “Wanna do it?” does not count as foreplay.

There are so many more things women wished men knew about them, but sadly there is not enough room in cyberspace to list it all. Also there should be some mystery between the sexes anyway, it keeps things spicy. It is knowing what should and shouldn’t be a mystery that creates the confusion, the above ten points should not be a mystery. Some might even say they should be run on the bottom of the television screen during football games until they sink in.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but teenage daughters are from somewhere beyond anyplace the Hubble telescope has managed to pick up yet. Communicating with a teenage girl requires an interpreter, a lot of patience, and I would say common sense but sometimes that even fails to penetrate the atmosphere around your teen daughter. Okay, maybe not yours, but definitely mine. I’ve searched high and low for the right things to say to mine, but in the end I’ve only managed to find out what not to say which has proved equally valuable.

Rule number one is to never use the word forbid! This gets their brain firing like a feline needing a catnip fix. This is a challenge, you’re throwing down the gauntlet. I was once said “I forbid you to get a nose ring.” Now in all fairness my little precious did not come home with a nose ring. She came home with a belly button ring, a tongue stud, and some piece of metal that kept staring at me from the eyebrow area on the right side of her face. She put up a good defense citing she did just as I said and avoided the hole nose ring thing. Being right was little consolation when she was sitting in her room for a month after school though.

Never ever under any circumstances use the words “around” or “about” when discussing time. You have to be specific! I once said be in by around ten. That is not specific. What I should have said was “be in by ten p.m. on the night of 12/09/2007” because that is concrete. What I originally said using the word around ten somehow makes it’s way through the auditory system of a teenage girl as maybe eleven or twelve, or even the tenth day of the month. Ten p.m. is generally “around” that time in the grand scheme of things. Who knows? You have to remember putting information in their mind is like programming a computer, if it is not literal it is open to a huge world of interpretation and fills in the blanks with the most personally pleasing data.

Never ever tell them about the things you did when you were their age, unless of course it’s something like getting a job and saving money for college, or perhaps volunteering with the sick and elderly. Somehow a teenage girl is wired to store every single thing you have ever said and throw it right back at you the exact second you try to punish them for doing the same thing. They will use it against you in the snippiest most snide way possible so you walk away from the exchange looking like the evil unjust hypocrite and they look like poor persecuted Snow White. Even worse than that it’s possible they will attempt the things you did and try to pawn off their shenanigans as some sort of alternate universe form of bonding. It’s not uncommon to hear things in this scenario like “but mom, I was just trying to be like you were when you were my age.” Don’t fall for it!

Never tell them what kind of boy, or girl depending on their preference, to date. No matter what you say they will go directly against it. That is unless of course you tell them to go for the bad boy. Never say “date the kid with a charge for grand theft auto and a snake tattooed on his forehead” because they will do it! Even if they don’t want to they will do it to spite you and prove their point. What that point is I’m not even clear on and I did that to my parents as a teen! In fact don’t even talk to them about dating, just let them figure it out on their own and when the are hopelessly lost they will come to you and maybe consider listening to your advice. Of course whatever you say will be wrong and they will blame you for their dateless dilemma so it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Don’t tell your teenage daughter anything you wouldn’t want used against you in a court of law or blabbed about to the public in general. Teenage girls gossip and yours is no different. It used to take a whole night and hours on the phone to spread a juicy morsel, now it reaches the world in audio, text, and sometimes video in a matter of seconds thanks to cell phones and computers. Remember what you said to your spouse about your neighbor Marjorie and what she did with the UPS man when her husband was at work? Your daughter sure will and that is why before you yourself gossip in the home you need to go down to the Bat Cave and enter the cone of silence. Anything you say in the house, no matter how quietly you whisper, your teen daughters bionic hearing will pick up and instantly disseminate.

It is easy to go on and on for days about all the things to never say to your teenage daughter but if you stick to the above major no-no’s you should be okay for the most part. Most important is if the conversation ever turns to sex…fake a heart attack. Yes it’s cruel and extreme but sometimes it’s worth it.

More and more people are not only looking for great new vacation ideas, they are looking for those ideas to be economical as well. While the major vacation destinations spend their money trying to attract more visitors so they can keep their prices up, there are plenty of out of the way destinations that are more than reasonable to visit, one of them being Tybee Island Georgia. Tybee Island may not be for everyone, but by the end of this article you may decide it is the right place for you.

Tybee Island is one of those areas that always seemed to be forgotten due to accessibility issues in the old days.Originally you could only get there by train, but eventually they road arrived and things seemed like they would change. That wound up not being the case necessarily as as Tybee Island still remained a quiet little corner of the world for the most part.There failure to become a bustling town now becomes a great success as they are quietly one of the most relaxing vacation getaways that few people have ever heard of. Best of all they have several great rentals that provide a great bang for your buck.

The Luscious Little Cottage as it is known is advertised as 99 1/2 steps to the beach and stands out because it is painted a vibrant pink. It is available for weekly rentals year round at a rate of $1,500. While that may not sound cheap to you, compare how much a house on the beach goes for in most places and you won’t get a much better deal. Wile it was built in the 1920’s, it comes with a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor however to rinse the beach sand and salt off, central air conditioning and heat, an outdoor grill, high speed internet, WiFi, satellite TV, and a VCR. There is a maximum of 5 guests (One bedroom, one bath, a daybed, and a detached outdoor bedroom with two single beds), and smoking in the house and pets are not allowed.To check on current rates or book a week they may be contacted at 877-524-9819. The property is located on 9 Lovell Avenue.

About three blocks from the ocean is The Little Beach Cottage located on the south end of Tybee. The cottage sleeps six with two master bedrooms and two baths. It isn’t quite the Luscious Little Cottage, but it has its own charm. The problem with this rental is the price fluctuations which run from about $1,100/week to over $2,100 per week depending on the season and proximity to a holiday. Information and rental reservations can be made by calling 800-786-5889 or

a popular place to stay in large part based on its price of $1,050 per week. The Shrimp Cottage is located across from Memorial Park and was built in the 1960’s. It has two bedrooms with 1 1/2 baths, and comfortably sleeps six. For a small family this is the perfect place to be near everything, but still trim a few extra dollars off the bill.

For a large family or group the Inlet Breeze Cottage which sleeps eleven is near downtown Tybee and two blocks from the beach. It does cost about $1,750 per week, but considering how much it would cost to put up a large group in a hotel for a week this is a steal. In the cottage you’ll find three bedrooms plus an additional area for sleeping if necessary, as well as two large baths, a screened in porch, and a fenced in yard which is great if you have little ones with you. They will also allow pets, although you will have to inquire as to their specifics regarding the indoor/outdoor policy for them. For further information or booking arrangements call 912-313-0784

Finally for a large group around a dozen people that require plenty of privacy and want to be very close to the beach, 10 Twelfth Street is the best option. It does run about $2,500 per week, but it is a huge dwelling. It is a two story house with six bedrooms and four bathrooms. The rates per week do vary so you will want to inquire to them as early as possible. This is a rental you will want to lock up as far in advance as possible to get the best rate due to its demand. For rental information and arrangements call 877-524-9819 or visit

Whatever lodging from this group you choose is sure to a good experience. If you are looking for a quiet getaway with tons of down home charm and a beautiful beach Tybee is one of the best kept secrets on the east coast. Book in advance, double check rates, and don’t be afraid to ask for reduced rates. You may not get them, but in tough economic times with fewer people taking vacations you may be able to arrange a better deal. While in Tybee take advantage of some of the local cuisine as well instead of eating in every night, they restaurant prices are reasonable, and you are on vacation after all!

The FDA usually does a pretty good job of keeping medications that can have side effects worse than what they are treating away from the consuming public. In some cases however, it seems that what the FDA deems acceptable is a little off from what most normal people would define as such. Side effects from medications can be as mild as a headache, a bit more urgency to urinate, or dry mouth. On the wild side they can induce side effects it is amazing anyone would ever want to deal with.

 Take for instance the drug Mirapex which is used to treat Parkinson’s Syndrome and restless leg syndrome. This is a drug that is well known to amnesia in some patients. While the amnesia is almost never permanent, although that has happened, losing snippets of your life does not seem like a great trade-off when compared to having a case of the Jimmy legs. Usually the memory loss is isolated to losing the previous day when it does occur, but still that is pretty harsh.

Dealing with aches and pains are often a reason many people use prescribed medication, but what do you do when the medication is cause? Lipitor and Allegra are a pair of drugs known to do just that. You can take Allegra to stymie an allergy and wind up with a backache that is even worse. Lipitor takes it a step beyond pain and has been cited as causing loss of muscle control and possibly permanent nerve and muscle damage as a lawsuit against its maker Pfizer now alleges.

An assault on your senses would definitely qualify as an undesired side effect. Imagine taking Vasotec to treat your high blood pressure and the next thing you know there is a ringing in your ears, you have lost your sense of smell which takes taste along with it, and you have blurry vision. Usually those who experience side effects on Vasotec do not experience them all at once, but it is a distinct possibility for some users.

While some people see hallucinations as a form of recreation, for most people they are deeply disturbing – especially when unwanted. Mirapex and the drug Lariam which is used to treat malaria are both known to cause hallucinations in some users. In the case of Lariam it got so serious the FDA added prescribing guidelines that required they be screened for depression and psychosis before taking the drug. Scarier than that, Lariam was a staple item of the U.S. Army for soldiers being deployed overseas until around the year 2005 according to most estimates. Trained soldiers with weapons and hallucinations is rarely a good mix.

Xenical, also known as Orlistat or Alli in low doses, does a great job of blocking the absorption of fat by the body to help people lose weight. Another way it helps some users lose weight is by causing fecal incontinence, which is just a pleasant way of saying loss of bowel control. Gas that has an oily discharge is another lovely possible side effect. While the guidelines state that if a low fat diet of less than 15 grams of fat peal is followed there should be no problem, should be no problem is the key phrase. Even following the diet, fecal incontinence is possible, if it is not followed, it is like having urgent explosive diarrhea non-stop.

 Suicidal ideations are definitely a side effect of medications you really do not want to have, yet  Lariam and Chantix  and Paxil have all been linked to users having well defined and documented suicidal ideations. In the case of Chantix, some 400 suicide attempts and 40 successful suicides are linked to the drug. What is really scary is that each drug’s manufacturer admits that suicidal ideations are a possible side effect, although it too an investigation to get that admission regarding Paxil in which documents proving said knowledge was covered up before the drug was approved.

Everyone in the dating world has to set the bar somewhere. Some have such high requirements in what they are looking for in a person they are willing to date it is amazing they ever find someone, while others set the cut off point far too low. There is no true marker for what is too low as each individual usually has a grasp on what type of person is within their grasp. While the following rules may not be universal in all cases, they will help you identify what the minimum requirements are for someone you are willing to date.

Do they have a pulse? This is always a good place to start as it is pretty difficult to have a successful date with someone who is incapable of communicating. While that is facetious as it is presented in the literal sense, you have to consider right away that there are living people who exhibit less outward activity than the dead, or so it seems. You try to initiate conversation, make suggestions for activities, or just get the slightest rise out of them and all they do is stare blankly or offer monosyllabic answers. Therefore having someone that is lively enough to hold up their end of a conversation is a definite minimum requirement.

Do you have at least a couple of overlapping interests that you can share in some way? Efficiently exchanging carbon dioxide really doesn’t count here. Think more along the lines of a shared joy for rollerblading, art, the same genre of movies, sports, or anything you can engage in as a couple. If you have nothing in common you most likely won’t make it to the third date, second if you’re the one paying.

Are your lives heading in similar directions? As cruel as it may sound if your life is on the rise don’t tie an anchor around your neck! This doesn’t mean that a minimum requirement for dating someone is how much money they make, but rather that they are at least making an honest effort to realize their potential. Along the same lines you have to have at a minimum broadly defined common goals. If their great ambition in life is to see Star Wars at the IMAX for the 500th time and yours is to upgrade a software package for the universal exchange of medical records, you probably aren’t the best fit.

You must next consider whether or not you fit in each others own personal worlds. This is really just a nice way of saying are they going to embarrass you socially. The harsh reality is if you aren’t exactly busting at the seams to be seen with someone don’t even bother. You can hide someone away for a little while but eventually you will have to meet each others friends and family. If the prospect of that makes you feel ill then don’t waste each others time. If you aren’t willing to be seen with someone it is likely that even if you somehow wound up in an intimate situation there would be no chemistry. If you cannot have a healthy sex life you have no shot at a healthy relationship. Just move on to the next episode.

Only you know what things you can live with and without in a person you are going to date. These are merely a few red flags to look for that are good indicators you are wasting your time. The choice is always yours to make and sometimes the best couples are the outwardly most unlikely to succeed. The best advice is keep an open mind, have an escape plan at the ready in case a date is particularly bad, and do make sure they do have a pulse both literally and figuratively!

I began writing this in 1985 when I was a lovestruck kid in HS. It never finished. I don’t even know where the initial idea came from anymore (aside from the girl), just that a pair of lines repeated in my head incessantly. I’m no poet, and I’ve never pretended to be, but this is something that never left my head. Over the years, I’ve likely written it down to try to finish no less that 50 times. It never resolved itself.

For some reason, about 4:15am, I woke up and this was back in my head. I’ve barely been able to focus much less stay awake all yesterday with the stomach flu running through me. Maybe it’s the fever, dehydration or sleep deprivation that comes with only half sleeping far too long – like when you feel as though you’re watching yourself from the side somewhere. Maybe it’s a lot of things, or maybe it was just time it put itself together.

I’m not in love with it, but I learned a long time ago if you wake up from a sleep and the words are in your head and you can’t think of a single change – it’s done! Good or bad. It will never get any better than it is at that moment. I don’t think I have another 28 years to wait on it to come out again, so here it is.

I’d normally never share any kind of poetry stuff I’ve written publicly – certainly not unless it was under one of my pen names. This time I figured I would. It’s like finally closing out bits and pieces of many chapters and feeling like I could move on and open up new ones.

I hope it doesn’t suck too much! 🙂

And now I will see if I can fall back asleep . . .


I heard your voice at the end of a tunnel

Garbled and unintelligible

I could feel you slipping away

And then I was jerked awake to realize you were never there

Oh what a painter I must be to create a illusion so real

A dream within a dream

Only to realize it would only ever be a dream

The most important aspect of business is quality, it always has been and always be. While there are many factors that contribute to a successful business none trumps this simple axiom whether it be a product or a service oriented enterprise. lack of quality in any aspect of business whether it be personnel, marketing, location, equipment, or any portion of business is essential. In the final analysis you will see how exactly this is true.


Many people will argue that the most important aspects of business are financing and advertising. I will not say these aren’t important and essential but they certainly are not number one when it comes to a successful business. When deciding to enter any business venture the first thing that is discussed is the product, and if the product is a stinker nothing will make the business venture work successfully. Advertising can spread the word and drive a lot of consumers your way, but if the product is no good, no amount of looks will create sales enough to save a bad idea.

For instance it is not uncommon for a person with a great product and business model to find financing anywhere. Everyone including lending institutions wants to make money and if they feel your idea is good enough they will line up to compete to lend you money. If the product or service is sub-par they will give you the polite denial letter and and often tell you the reason they will not finance the venture is the product. Quite simply people have had great ideas throughout business history and almost no money to invest on their own but gotten financing quite easily based on the strength of the concept for their product as can be seen with very simple items like the Hairagami, extension cord clip, and home hair cut systems. There are literally thousands of products like this people have brought to the market through financing from outside sources based on the strength of the product and succeeded.

There is also a school of thought that believes a strong advertising campaign can take even a bad product and push it until sales take off and make it viable. In the very short term this is sometimes true. New Coke back in the mid 1980’s sold great briefly but was so unpopular the old formula was demanded by consumers. If Coca-Cola can’t sell a bad product with their vast resources, nobody can.

Most of us as consumers have tried something new out on the basis of simply giving it a shot. While these are usually inexpensive things which we feel safe with risking a small amount of money, sometimes they are much larger financial risks. Either way the one truth that comes out of this is if the product is a bomb you aren’t going to be a repeat client and you’re very likely to let others know it stinks as well and steer them away from wasting their money on it. Did you ever hear of anyone giving positive endorsements of the Yugo? Conversely speaking if a product is good word of mouth from satisfied consumers can spread farther, faster, and more effectively than any advertising campaign. Honestly answer this, are you more likely to try something based on a trusted friends recommendation or a coupon or advertisement you randomly happen upon?

Again financing and advertising are important, there is no arguing that. Financing can help weather the turbulent start up time for a business, and advertising increases awareness for the product or service. As important as those aspects are however they simply won’t save a bad product. Business is a marathon, not a sprint, and getting out of the gates fast may be exhilarating, but eventually quality always wins out over hype.

People experience a wide range of emotions when thinking of their first love. For some it is a positive thing that brings a smile to their face and for others it brings feelings of loss or regret. Sometimes it is even a little bit of each. First loves are different for everyone, some swear they experienced their first love very early in life, others in their teens, and yet more say they never really felt true love until they were adults. As such, we all think differently when thoughts of that person re-visit us.

A perfect example points back to many years ago when as a teen I asked my father about his first love after feeling devastated by being ripped away from mine through the cruelty of corporate relocation, not my own mind you, his. He took a deep breath and for the next to last time in my life invited me to hop up on his lap while he related the story of his first love. “She was a beautiful woman” he said, going on to describe so many little things that made her special; how she laughed, how she looked at him, the way he felt inside when he even did so little as just think of her. Imagine my surprise when I realized it wasn’t my mom he was talking about but rather a woman he met in Germany some 35 years earlier at the end of World War II!

He explained how special that first love was, and that even though it hurt to have to leave her behind, that experience was what prepared him for the greatest love of his life which was my mom. Over the years he explained we would likely fall in love with several people and that even though the “trauma” I was feeling leaving behind the girl I thought I was going to be with forever, my first love, may seem like the end of the world it was just the beginning. He even went on to relate how lucky I was to have felt love that felt that strong so young because unlike him, when true love approached again I would be ready to handle it.

I think of Tammy, my first love, often still. Sometimes I get the wild hair to see where life has taken her in the 25 or so years since we last spoke, but I never do. Instead I remember her as the cute little girl with honey blond hair sitting on the roof of a VW micro-bus waving to me as we drove by on our way out of town. I think about the days we passed notes in class, held hands sitting on a blanket watching the 4th of july fireworks, or even the first time I kissed a girl and realized I liked it.

When I think of that first love I think of how much I owe her even today. Were it not for her and the love we shared for each other who knows what life would be like for me now? Would I have been as good a student or athlete as I was because I constantly tried to keep up with her high standards of achievement? Would I have been as willing to accept that sometimes people are different from the majority, and that they are still okay and good people so young life? Would I have learned the lesson that love transcends all boundaries and that nothing should stand in its way, and if it does, you have to climb over it, go around it, or just knock it down and walk over it to get to that love we all deserve? The odds are I would not have learned those lessons or achieved what I have without that first love.

When I think of that first love the feelings are almost always good. Sometimes there is regret that we drifted apart a few years after we moved on. Sometimes I do worry about her and wonder if she remained the same sweet girl she had always been or if life beat her down and made her someone completely different. Mostly though I smile, for that first love was the love of childhood and innocence when it didn’t matter what others thought and there were no expectations or worries, just the moment and the feeling that at least for us the world was perfect.