Kevin Neal Life Updates, 11/18/2017

Kevin Neal from California (in the news) – #NotThatKevinNeal

I need to make a quick Public Service Announcement before I get into my Life Updates.  I am not THAT Kevin Neal.

On November 14th, 2017 there was a truly awful shooting where a lunatic, coincidently enough, named Kevin Neal and, also coincidently enough, was from California murdered several innocent people.  I do not know this person, never have and never will.  I feel such sadness for his victims and pray that they rest in peace. Website Visitors Per Day

Not to make light of this awful tragedy but one rather strange thing that happened is overnight my Facebook and this Blog was of high interest all of a sudden.  In fact, I bet some of you reading my words right now are just curious people.  I admit that I sometimes do the same.  Anyhow I met a few people on Facebook that just said a friendly hello so that was fairly cool to see the decency of people in such times.  Just take a look at the drastic spike in my Blog traffic and you can clearly see when the news hit on 11/14.


………….and now that this Public Service Announcement is over, let us turn you to the regularly scheduled Kevin Neal Life Update…………


Ankle Recovery

It’s been nearly two full months since I sustained my rather serious ankle injury on September 23rd, 2017.  As I’ve expressed many times before, this injury certainly could have been much worse so I’m absolutely not going to complain about much. However, being in a hard cast for all this time is getting super annoying. I obviously still can’t drive and won’t be able to for months still. I can’t even start rehab yet because the bones are still mending. The good news is that at my last check-up with the doctor he said the x-ray looked pretty good and we are ahead of the original schedule.

I still will be in a hard cast for another three weeks and then hopefully a removal boot. Rehab might start after the being of the new year.  Oh vie!!!  There isn’t so much pain any more but the hassle of doing every little thing that takes so much longer and planning is about on my last nerve.  Things like this really make a person humble and also make you appreciate everything that is so good about being healthy.  I’ll just continue trying to be positive and do my best to get through because there isn’t much I can do to accelerate my healing.


Cloud Computing Technical Training

Cloud Computing Knowledge

Although I’m not completely stuck at home with my ankle injury and I manage to get out for about one or two meetings per week, I’ve been spending most of my ‘downtime’ being as productive as can be.  I want to take full advantage of my time and utilize it for productive things. Therefore, I have been doing a ton of research, training and experimenting on many new technical technologies.  It is true that there is so many new things, new concepts, new vendors, new approaches and such that it will be impossible for anyone to ever fully grasp all this knowledge.  As I have always appreciated when others share their knowledge with me; I like to reciprocate and share my knowledge with them.  This is absolutely required more than ever and not only when it comes to technology itself but also how business is done.  Business has to be more agile, nimble and willing to change more than ever because consumers are empowered like never before.

For these reasons, I feel that if I can gain valuable personal knowledge, with hands-on learning, for such things as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure Cloud and others then I sincerely hope I can accelerate the overall knowledge of my colleagues, friends as well as our valued clients.  My brain is certainly on overload right now from all the learning I’ve been doing but it feels great and I feel that 80% is sinking in already.  I’m immediately being able to put a lot of this learning into practical use.  This other 20% is still somewhat foreign to me and I can only hope that knowledge transfer can help everyone work together and reach their full potential.


Working Hard

It has always been a personal work character trait of mine to work even harder while others relax.  It could be coincidence or by conscience decision but so much of my work history has been working with people in other countries, and time zones, that I often work unnatural hours late at night or early mornings. Or it could be that so much of my work is being creative with marketing activities or critical thinking with technical work, that it just helps me concentrate and be more productive in downtimes. Or it could be that I’m just a workaholic like my wonderful dad was 😊.

Whatever the case maybe I double my efforts during the holiday season to really digest everything from the past year and get organized with a solid plan for the future.  I simply hate waiting for things to happen so while people stuff their faces with Turkey and participate in all the fun activities, I’m generally spending my time writing a plan, creating some marketing materials or planning a communication in some capacity or another.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having fun during the holidays and like time to relax a bit but it just gets old for me rather quick and I would rather spend my time in the present bettering my life in the future.

Business is super good and our plan is coming along ahead of schedule.  We planned well to be ahead of the onslaught of ‘cloud computing’ crush and now our Company is positioned extremely well with excellent knowledge, great solutions and a fantastic business plan. We have the right People, Process and Policy all in-place for a successful outcome and we can’t be any more excited about the upcoming year!


Crazy FurrBalls and a Change of Season

(Back-to-Front) Jack, Gracie and Bleu

Jack, Gracie and Bleu continue to provide a ton of comic relief at the Neal Casa. Brandee and I can already tell that the turn of seasons from fall to winter is not going to be an easy one for Gracie and Bleu especially. Jack is old-hat at the seasonal changes but Gracie is inexperienced as she just turned 1-year old a few weeks ago. And for Bleu, since she was born in the March-April 2017 timeframe, the dew on the grass or the rain drops from heaven are all new, exciting (and sometimes treacherous) challenges for her to overcome.

For our best guy, Jackson, he continues to provide sanity and wisdom for his rambunctious sisters. Once in a while he’ll get in a playful mood and have a little rough-house fun with Gracie. On the other hand, Jack and Bleu rarely interact with each other. They just act as if each other didn’t exist. Jack is such a good boy with his little sisters and he’s so gentle with them.  One thing that is for sure is that poor Jack still does miss his older sissy, the beautiful Bella, as do both Brandee and I.  Bella was such a precious and unique little furry, fluff of fun.  She filled our hearts with joy and the pain of losing her in April is still tremendous and probably will never cease.  Jack, Brandee and I are at peace that our lovely Bella-Ringa is healthy and happy at Rainbow Bridge.


Preparing for the Holidays

Bleu Neal – Halloween Spirit

Well it’s that exciting time of the year where, once again, where the months of October-December become all smashed together in a blurry haze with so many birthdays, holidays and just overall busyness going on.  This year is no exception with Halloween already have flown by and Thanksgiving upon us in just a few days.  It’s the time of year when Brandee over thinks plans for Thanksgiving and plans a meal for an army.  I kid but it’s great fun for her and she says relaxing but I can’t imagine so as it seems like so much work!  Nevertheless, she has fun and enjoys doing it so it’s all worth it in the long run.

I think this time of year is very special for Brandee in particular.  She loves so many of the great qualities of the holiday spirit including spending time with family and friends, children running around crazily everywhere and the general good-vibe that the holidays bring.  She can careless about the commercialism that the season brings but there is so much more positive than just minor annoyances.

Here’s to wishing everyone a great, safe and enjoyable Holiday Season!!!

-From the Neal’s

Bleu-Berry update, 9/8/2017

Bella’s passing, honestly, is still raw with Brandee, Jack and I and this is no kidding. Five months later and we still miss our little sweet Bellaringa; and will miss her forever I’m sure. She is the greatest but it’s heartening to know that her wonderful legacy lives on!

However, today’s blog is about a Bleu update. It’s very difficult to share updates about Bleu, as much as I would like to, but it hurts because I always think about Bella. Nevertheless, here goes with a Baby Bleu update.

Blue was officially rescued from the great San Jose Animal Care Center at the young age of 5 weeks old and 1.5 pounds. The rescue was amazing!

I really had no intention of adopting a cat that day. In fact, I was admittedly against it as Brandee and my reason for the visit was to get a puppy that could re-energize Jack’s, and our, broken spirits since Bella went to Rainbow Bridge. But, as I was walking by the cat habitats at the Center this little, tiny, jet-black kitten (that wasn’t even a grand total of six-inches long) began to scratch at the glass and got my attention. She immediately grabbed my heart and the rest was history. After about only one hour after I met Bleu, we were taking her back to her forever home.

Apparently, she was there with one of her sisters which had be already been rescued when we visited the Center and Bleu was left behind. I knew from the second that I saw her that she was going to be a part of our family so we went through the adoption process and the great folks at San Jose Animal Care Center were absolutely awesome!

I cannot thank all the wonderful people at the San Jose Animal Care Center enough. They all are so awesome, terrific and compassionate. The volunteer that interviewed me for Bleu’s rescue was such a nice and caring guy. All the nice ladies that helped process the paperwork were very sincere. It was a very pleasant experience indeed.

Fast-forward from a little-Baby Bleu of six inches long (at 5 weeks old) to now, 5 months later, an 8.7-pound young girl. Bleu is such a fantastic sister to her two canine brothers. Each of the canines has extremely different temperaments and Bleu does a great job to navigate these dangerous territories.

Bleu treats them 100% completely different and it’s quite amazing. With our puppy, Gracie, which is a 11-month old chiweenie, Bleu is as aggressive as can be and they play nearly all day long as loving sisters. Both Gracie and Bleu were rescued on the same day, and although they had never met each other until we brought them home together, they act like biologically-integrated sisters. With Jack, Bleu’s behavior is completely different because Jack is more slow and deliberate. Therefore, Bleu has no fear of his nearly 100-pound brute body, yet just leaves him alone. Also, Jack’s totally chill nature is really awesome as we have no fear whatsoever that he would ever hurt Bleu. Sometimes Jack and Bleu will cuddle on chilly nights so this winter should be interested for all of us.

Brandee and I have left the door wide open for Bleu to come and go as she wishes. Although we really considered this a lot and it was an extremely tough decision, we ultimately decided that she needs to be free as an indoor/outside cat. Thus far, knock-on-wood, I think this is the best result for everyone. Bleu loves her freedom, and sometimes wanders too far off, yet still stays within range.

Summertime blues with Bella

Hey Honey-Baby,

We miss you like crazy.

Bella, we miss your sweet personality. We miss your prissy-attitude. We miss your overall demeanor and presence. You were such a large part of our daily lives for nearly 15 years.

Summertime used to feel so energetic, fun and exciting with you. Somehow your positive feline-spirit shined thru and we had fantastic times. This summer has been different though. It’s been a difficult summer, quite frankly.

As a young kitty, and although we were nervous for your safety, we always knew that you could take care of yourself when you would disappear late at night. You always came home to us. Sometimes your ear had a chunk removed or your nose was bloodied, but I guarantee that the other-side got their ass whipped!

As always, I need to mention that your Buddy, Jackson, is missing you tremendously also. I can only hope that he understands. Honestly though, I would be fooling myself to think that he’s been the same. That is simply not the truth. We are doing our best together.

We miss you so much every day, every moment and every minute, our Sweetie. It is sad without you because you filled our lives with so much happiness. For this happiness, we cannot thank you enough.


Daddy, Mommy and Bubby

Happy Furrth-of-July 2017 to little baby-orange!

Dear honey baby,

This is our first 4th of July without you and it’s really awful. We miss your great spirit and wonderful demeanor. We miss your spunky attitude.

Every day, as I hope you know, I say a special prayer for your safe passage into Pet Heaven and I visit you often. It warms my heart that you are in such a special place among so many great people but it doesn’t lessen the pain of missing you nonetheless.

I can fondly remember such beautiful memories of previous 4th of July events that we spent together. Those were so special and incredible times. I will cherish those precious memories forever. Thank you for being such an absolutely perfect daughter.

Unfortunately, I have bad news to share about bubby but I must share. After another terrible vet-visit to get him sedated for his nails trimming, he had a growth removed which turned out to be cancerous again. He will have surgery soon and we will shower him with love in the interim.

Although our house is full of activity, it still lacks your personality, to be very honest. On this 4th of July holiday I simply hope that you are in comfort in the most wonderful place in the world in Pet Heaven at Rainbow Bridge. It’s my hope that you can enjoy a pet’s version of BBQ with whatever food of your pleasure.  We miss you baby!!!



Furryth-of-July 2017

July 2, 2017

Dear my sweetest of furr-balls,

Happy Furryth-of-July’s!!!

As the 241st anniversary of the United States of America Independence Day is upon us I cannot but reflect on all those who have fought and sacrificed for our ‘Independence’. First, and foremost, I am so proud of my immediate family members that proudly served our country.

Lynn, Gene, Carl and Leonard (left to right in the photo below), you have all earned our nation’s utmost respect and have served our country so honorably. God Bless you all.

Now imagine that you are a little baby and it’s your very first Independence Day, 4th of July, celebration. This will be the case for both Gracie, our 8-month-old puppy, and Bleu, our 3-month-old kitten. I’m sure we all will have a delicious holiday as Brandee always has some nice meal planned even as something as BBQ becomes a special event and it’s always scrumptious.

The 2017 version of the Neal Furryth-of-July will be represented by Jack, Gracie and Bleu. We are so blessed to have them as a part of our current family.

However, it’s important that we remember the past as well.

Two such lovely furry ladies that I love so much are Misty and Bella.  Misty was a neighborhood ally-cat that found her way into our home (literally) at about age 20-years and we whole-heartedly welcomed her as our own.  Bella, of course, was our tiny baby for nearly 15 beautiful years and she still is, and will always be, the most precious baby for me personally.  I miss you Baby Furr.

So, for this Furryth-of-July, from the Neal furry family, we want to wish everyone a wonderful and safe Independence Day. Certainly, go enjoy your time at BBQ’s, parties or other events, but please give some time to reflect on those who have made our special day, exceptionally great.