put your ax in the wood get your focus fixed, keep your body in the ring gotta take some licks November 5, 2013 No Comments

Excited isn’t the word for the arrival of the new Mason Jennings album, the songs have enticed many words and thoughts.

Years back I blogged about freedom and what I thought it would take to achieve freedom, and years later….I still don’t know what’s holding me back.  I suppose it’s the conditions in which we’re all educated, and what the construct trains us to be.  Got a great job, got money in the back, security and all that….so what perils the mind?……1) living off a system in which is broke and wondering if it’ll ever be fixed again, and more importantly 2) How much is enough?, which brings me to the story below —

The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions?” asked the fisherman, “Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evening, sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos!”

(Author Unknown)

Certainly if you’d give this to a rational person they’d go, wow, that sounds like a great life in that village, and that’s the way life’s supposed to be.  Have a look at the folks in a typical cube and think, wow, its evolution baby. :-(

My opinion on where it’s all gone wrong, money, money, money, and how its infiltrated every inch of western society and it’s spreading like wildfire — and no awareness on what’s important or what’s enough —

What will save us perhaps?  Bitcoin, but that’s for another day — the creator should get a Nobel Prize, instead the establishment will fight it to no avail, and with one fail swoop, will knock the capitalist casino off of true productivity, and we can commence to having the good ol’ days once again.

embrace the demons with all their claws, embrace this life with all its scars No Comments

Tonight as I sit here listening to Mason Jenning’s new album, I can’t help but think about Breaking Bad, a show I reluctantly watched after it was proclaimed one of the most successful shows ever. — The premise alone made me steer clear (conservative suburban man gets cancer, sells meth to pay his medical bills), but after watching it from start to finish, the themes are very well done, and its symbolic of how sick our world is today.

The themes that I’ve been thinking about over the last month after completing the series

  • Empowerment – Find a partner that empowers you, you’ll live a wonderful and happy life, find someone who doesn’t, you’ll have to live in the shadow of their wings.  This is evident in the show was Walt, a chemistry genius, is consistently marginalized by his wife Skyler, until finally years and years later this is the accepted norm.
  • Loyalty – Jessie and Walt have been through it all, learning the ropes in the nasty drug lord realm, and the only reason they survive so long is loyalty.  Many thugs came and went, but loyalty is what made them persist.
  • Heroism – The show did a great job of alienating you from the ‘good guy’ (in this case a DEA agent / brother in law of the protagonist) because of his brutish character and rooting for the ‘bad guy’ (Walt who is selling meth to pay medical bills).  Through the course of the show the roles reverse and you see the struggle between one side attempting to preserve order and the other attempting to preserve himself.  When the ‘good guy’ dies, the conflict is over, and all that is left is roaches, and no matter how many roaches you throw at a plot, there isn’t one.
  • Hope – At the end, Jessie drives off into the night, we hope that after it all, he kicks the meth business to the side and lives a new life.

Lastly I talked to my friend who’s wife is English, and they plan on moving to the UK for retirement, out of the off chance one of them gets cancer, so they don’t have to cook meth to pay the hospital bills.

I walk upon the river like it’s easier than land, evil’s in my pocket and your will is in my hand April 29, 2013 No Comments

Amidst random surfing I’ve discovered two items that will compel me to write more often.

First is from Brene Brown who says “Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”  Very courageous indeed for a dolphin to swim amongst the sharks.  While typing up sentences you think of the types of people out here; 1) the ones who don’t care, and 2) the ones who can empathize and are genuinely interested in your story.

Second, and I believe its Clay Shirky who articulates the more you are connected a network, the greater your loss of independence, hence groupthink and the like.  So the challenge becomes, keeping your independent thought while being connected to the mass.

Getting older merits different reasons for blogging, as you see the world from different vantage points.  It’s good for the soul to keep those digital snapshots in time that can articulate feeling.

But I’ve Grown to see the Diamonds Thrown in Just for Me January 13, 2013 No Comments

A bone chilling year of travel culminating at the sparkling Eiffel Tower, lots to rehash while the world continues to turn.

Snapshot of 2012

Jan 1st – Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Feb 18th – Florence

Feb 25th – Zurich

Mar 10th – Lehnin

Mar 17th – Strasbourg

Mar 24th – Interlocken

Apr 7th – Colmar

Apr 20th – Dublin

May 26th – Aeroe Island

May 28th – Iceland

June 15th – Venice

June 24th – Amsterdam

July 7th – Garmisch-Partenkirchen

July 14th – Luzerne

July 21st – London

Aug 11th – Baden Baden

Aug 25th – Baden Baden

Sep 1 – Desenzano del Garda

Sep 4 – Djibouti

Sep 29 – Gruyères Switzerland

Oct 4 – Athens / Santorini

Oct 12 – Austin, Texas

Oct 25 – Sioux City, Iowa

Nov 3 – Baden Baden

Nov 11 – Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Nov 23 – Hamburg

Dec 22 – Vienna / Bratislava

Dec 28 – Paris

Eiffel Tower New Years Eve 2012

Eiffel Tower New Years Eve 2012

It was day and I stood there once again climbing quick…and I knew you were the one throwing dying stars on our gathering January 10, 2013 No Comments

A former story artist at Pixar suggests every film has the same deep structure in six sentences.

Once upon a time ____________. Every day, _________. One day _______________. Because of that, ____________. Because of that, __________________. Until finally ______________.

One night with a rum and coke, I’ll fill in the blanks —

Another lasting image ingrained in the brain, the beach at Aeroe Island after our wedding ceremony at the courthouse.  A handful of close friends will always have a special place with us.  I also remember calling mom and talking for a bit, absolutely surreal.

Aeroe Island

Aeroe Island

Picking out a unique picture from each wedding….I’d say Carlos (the only single guy) getting explicitly thrown the flowers was epic.  Check out all the congrats on the picture of the nice catch.

Aeroe Island Wedding

Aeroe Island Wedding

Next was Moulton, Texas — I’d always figured a Texas shin’dig would be in order….Beer and BBQ :)

Moulton Texas Wedding

Moulton Texas Wedding

And Finally a Laotian style wedding in Iowa, walking in was a nervous experience — Thank goodness Mahon was carrying the umbrella for me :)

Sioux City Iowa

Sioux City Iowa

 

So get up, shake the rust. We crawl, we crawl, we crawl January 9, 2013 1 Comment

Recollecting on 2012 the most unique experience of my life was a trip to Iceland for our honeymoon.  So why head to west Iceland and a potential to run into the reincarnate Axlar Bjorn?

Hotel Budir in HDR, a place as memorable as it gets.  Fish and lamb are on the menu….everyday.  I recall hearing the ‘new’ EP from Of Monsters and Men, while the young waiter working proudly proclaims ‘They are from Iceland’ and proceeds to give me a list of all the hip music clubs in Reykjavik.

Hotel Budir

If you ever wonder what the view looks like from a Hotel Budir room at 2am, here you go — Amazingly beautiful fresh water stream from a waterfall just outside the picture.

Journey to the Center of the Earth, according to Jules Verne started here in Snæfellsjökull….the glacier sitting on top of the volcano, view from the black beach, where many a fishing ships ruins lie……… Simply incredible

Snæfellsjökull

Ring Road, goes all around Iceland, speed limit 90km/hr, here’s what it looks like —

Ring Road

Heading central we see Þingvellir and dramatic landscape.

Þingvellir

And beautiful fresh water lakes in the middle of desolate volcanic wasteland

There is contemporary life in the capital city, but its very apparent its a small place, and the locals seem to all know each other.

Iceland

And a stop in Iceland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the worth it but over hyped Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon

And….According to Prometheus opening scene, the beginning of human life at Gullfoss.

Gullfoss

 

The teacher had you write a letter, you were eight years old About the man that you’d become and the positions you’d hold July 24, 2012 No Comments

Recollecting the year, the prevailing thought in mind is ‘boy what a difference a year or so makes.’  Tonight sipping on a glass of Vino and listening to tunes, I’m confronted by the though of all the challenges faced in adult life, and how much different it is flying solo vs. a duet or tri or what have you.

Thoughts, ideas, situations, confrontations, etc run their course — Situation in which you no longer just think for yourself I’m finding it essential for a must welcome adjustment.  Often I find you have to push through the adjustment phase to find balance.  Here’ s a nod to the balance Gods to grant me the opportunity to write like  a mad fool, as I did 5 years ago…..there are tons of stories waiting to be released.

Hands down this year has introduced the most change in my entire life.  From a disco in Italy 2 new years ago to start the year in the Bavarian Alps to begin 2012, to Aeroe Island Denmark with this kind gentleman and my Laotian Frau…. what a heck of a year :)

Aeroe Island Denmark

Aeroe Island Denmark

Love how life is presented in this the lyrics of this tune

“The Clock Was Tickin”

The teacher had you write a letter, you were eight years old
About the man that you’d become and the positions you’d hold
But this was long before you and Jackie Geronimo met in the Prelude Park at midnight
Now when it came to bells and whistles, Jackie did not lack
And when she kissed you on the kisser, boy, you kissed her back
Now you tell her that you love her and she cuts you slack
When you drink with your buddies on the weekend

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
You spend your whole life dropping nickels in the bucket, wakin’ up at dawn
And while Jackie bestowed the joys of fingerlickin’
The clock up on the wall was tickin’

You got yourself a job cleaning hospital floors
But Jackie had a baby, then she had five more
They’d pay you just enough to drag your ass to the store
To buy bread, milk and Better Homes & Gardens
Jackie flips the pages and she dreams little dreams
A cottage in the country built with real wood beams
There’s a baby in the bedroom, he’s starting to scream
She holds him though he probably won’t remember it

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
Sometimes dreams are all you got to keep you going when the day gets long
And you gave up so many just to make a livin’
That clock up on the wall was tickin’

Now the kids are all grateful when they left the nest
And Jackie wasn’t perfect but she did her best
You seize the opportunity to get you some rest
But you can’t sleep on account of screaming grandkids

The golden years are meant to leave a gleam in your eye
You’re starting to discover it’s a great big lie
They’ll work you like a dog til you quit or you die
But you can’t quit cause Jackie needs the benefits

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
They say patience is a virtue but the doctor says she don’t have long
You stood up and tried your damndest not to listen
But that clock up on the wall was tickin’

When they told you to clear the room, that’s when it hit you
You watched as the caravan took your sweetheart away
The arguments and fights and money troubles seem so worthless
As the kids throw yellow roses on her grave

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
The house is quiet now and everything inside it seems to know she’s gone
There’s a picture of you both sixteen years old just kissing
And that clock up on the wall was tickin’

You always thought she had a chance and it was somewhere hidden
Now you’ve come to the conclusion that she never did
Not a chance, that is

Dark pines the moonlit road, Winter time the crunch of snow July 16, 2012 No Comments

Picked up a few post cards in Switzerland this weekend, of the alternative variety, they are fun, if get 3 addresses (the first 3) I’ll send the one of your choice your way.

It’s a hard parlor game Playing miscues and pratfalls for laughs From sad sacks and fairweather friends April 15, 2012 No Comments

Last November I got some cheese off the bucket list (at least cheese for those who are cool), by seeing Roxette in Barcelona at Palau Sant Jordi.  For at least 10 years I thought about it, wondering where I’d see them — what would be the context of the situation….Two Songs I always wondered where I’d be singing along with in concert…Church of Your Heart, and How Do You Do!?

Church of Your Heart was second encore, we’re outside, as my ailing old back can’t stand for 2 hours anymore, sitting there in Olympic Square, listening to that acoustic goodness, sportin’ our tickets.

Roxette in Barcelona

Roxette in Barcelona

How Do You Do, a song I’ve always thought would be a fine opener, we saw from the cheap seats (even though they weren’t cheap) —

Tapas, beaches, pumpkin pie, who needs it when you have Roxette :)

Frozen toes and twisted hands outside your window with the crazy plans-Throwing rocks ‘til your light comes on, comes on, come on April 2, 2012 No Comments

Words are precious.  Time is precious.  Over the last year I’ve began to ponder just how many people in a business environment understand this.

Back when I was 25, I used to think the key to solving the worlds problems meant getting all the ‘smartest’ people in a room and hashing it out.  After years of sitting with the smartest people in a room, — my thoughts have changed.  I keep thinking, ‘what the heck, what’s going on, why is there lackluster progress on even the most simple things?’

Then it comes to thinkin’, dang, all these smart people can easily click ‘Create New Word Document’, hence these smarty pants can endlessly jockey for position on who’s word document is better (until the irreverent template comes along) — Which creates people talking to themselves….no clear stream of consciousness to be found.

I like social media b/c its totally ‘opt in.’  If people are spewing piss and vinegar, you can easily ‘mute’ them….When you’re in a mandatory meeting gone bad, the conversation pirates just go go go, disrespecting time and cheapening their words.

What will the world be like once social REALLY happens?  Think of the people and the institutions that fight for the labels to put on themselves…..I’m a *insert your political party*, *insert your sub-belief of this party*, *insert your religion*, *insert your nationality*, *insert your certifications*, *insert where you went to college*, etc, etc – Over time ‘spheres of influence’ will develop, and the people who are constructive, add value, ship product, have good vision, and can come up with good metaphor to describe complicated things will rise to the top and easily be able to connect with each other — This network will be an ‘expert network’ that doesn’t live in any enterprise, and the traditional networks and the cockroaches that often infest these traditional networks should commence shaking in their boots, because the fogger has went off, and its only a matter of time before they’re toast.  The rules will change to accommodate these communities while the old guard inadvertently stands in the way.  Systems thinkers will take the next round, and the institutions and academics won’t get it for a long time.

Meanwhile, millions of useless meetings will go on tomorrow all around the world — linear thinking rather than circular in dimension, solving detailed instead of dynamic problems, and the practitioners of these talks will still follow the time honored practice of following the rules and making smaller rules that fall within those rules.

There was a time when I thought you first had to master the rules before you break them, nowadays things change so rapidly you do what it takes on the fly to get things done and leave your outdated textbook at home.

City of Words

City of Words