Ever since he was a child, Tom McDonald wanted to be a cowboy.
It concerned his mother so much that she took him to a psychiatrist to see if some professional help would buck the desire out of him.
So about 13 years ago, the executive vice president of brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s downtown L.A. office finally decided to take the bull by the horns. Actually, it was more like lassoing the steer by the head: He signed up for his first steer-roping lesson on a ranch north of Los Angeles.
The result? Better than he had imagined.
“I just got bit by the bug and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.
Now, at 57, McDonald said he practices horseback roping two or three times a week and participates in competitions all over the state. He ropes the steer’s head and horns while a partner ropes its back legs.
It hasn’t always been easy. He broke his back when he fell off a horse during roping practice. After a 10-month recovery, he got back out. He said he has no plans of stopping.
“It’s a way to keep young,” he said.
When Ken Joyner’s 12-year-old daughter, Angela, convinced him to get a dog a couple of years ago – a mixture of a Chihuahua and a poodle – the gift had an inauspicious start.
That’s because the untrained pooch began leaving presents of its own on the carpet of their Pasadena home.
So Joyner, 48, a facility support manager at Public Storage and a hobbyist inventor, decided to answer the call. He came up with a stain remover, called the Spot Extractor, that uses suction power to remove liquids and odors.
He wasn’t the only one to think it was a nifty idea. Last year, he submitted the invention to an open casting call for TV show “Everyday Edisons,” a reality program that pits inventors’ ideas against each other. Joyner’s Spot Extractor was picked from thousands of submissions to be one of 10 products featured in the fourth season of the show, which has a focus on pet care products. He flew to the show’s studio in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this year to film the episodes, which air locally on KLCS-TV (58).
When the first one aired earlier this month, he watched with his daughter, a budding inventor herself, whom Joyner said can rightly take some credit.
“She was the one who suggested that we get the dog. Otherwise it would’ve never happened,” he said.
Staff reporters Jacquelyn Ryan and Jonathan Polakoff contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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