An 808 way of life

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Spheres of control and persuasion

kingPersuasion is a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behaviors regarding an issue – or a carefully crafted argument whose internal previews coerce belief. Persuasion is the next best thing when fulminated mercury can’t get the job done. For Walter White, his primary tools of persuasion were blackmail, lying and the astute ability to call someone’s bluff by utilizing game theory to configure, and thus understand, their options. He’s brilliant when he utters a momentous line: “If you could kill me, you would have already.”

The blissfully ignorant are simply unaware of the “bad sides” of the narcissist. They look the other way, or pretend that the narcissist’s behavior is normative, or turn a blind eye to his egregious misbehavior. They are classic deniers of reality. In a feat of cognitive dissonance, they deny any connection between the acts of the narcissist and their consequences. Are there consequences? Certainly. Is it profound? Yes, in many ways. Regrettably, the narcissist rarely pays the price for his offenses. His victims pick up the tab.


Spheres of control — only one has proprietary knowledge

egoThe narcissist may study a given subject diligently and in great depth in order to impress people later with this newly acquired erudition. But, having served its purpose, the narcissist lets the knowledge thus acquired evaporate. The narcissist maintains a sort of a “short-term” cell or warehouse where he stores whatever may come handy in the pursuit of narcissistic supply, i.e., attention. But he is almost never really interested in what he does, studies, and experiences. Please re-read that last sentence and repeat after me – Wilco tango foxtrot! What does this suggest?

Walter White was able to leverage his power because he kept his information proprietary. It’s the reason he killed Gale Boetticher, and the very reason he hung Jesse out to dry when he was sent down to Mexico to cook for the cartel.

“What? You didn’t read your email?!”


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Spheres of control – the power of discipline

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The normal person is likely to welcome a moderate amount of attention – verbal and non-verbal – in the form of affirmation, approval, or admiration. Too much attention, though, is perceived as onerous and is avoided. Destructive and negative criticism is avoided altogether.

The narcissist, in contrast, is the mental equivalent of an alcoholic. He is insatiable. He directs his whole behavior, in fact his life, to obtain these pleasurable titbits of attention. He embeds them in a coherent, completely biased, picture of himself. He uses them to regulate his labile sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

To elicit constant interest, he projects to others a confabulated, fictitious version of himself, known as the false self. The false self is everything the narcissist is not: omniscient, omnipotent, charming, intelligent, rich, or well-connected. Does this require discipline? You betcha. A blue-million pounds of discipline.


Spheres of control – and the power to drive it

Power_scrubResearchers found that people who score high in narcissism tend to take control of leaderless groups. The definition of group could be one, 110 or eight. Again, the construct is complex. However, the overt and distasteful trait most visible is an exaggerated sense of self-worth. Possessing ample talents and abilities, the Achilles heel is a lack empathy for others.

Power and narcissism is a melding of overconfidence guided by a self-centered GPS. “Have you forgotten, no one else can do it!”

And while narcissists are more likely to become leaders, results of a Harvard medical study suggests that, once in power, narcissists don’t perform any better than others in that leadership role. Rather than leading, the narcissist becomes a boss whose envy for others is subtle. Underpinnings associated with envy rap hard at the door of those who have what they don’t, who are skilled at what they are not, who can feel what they don’t, and who are happy just being themselves.

Does change ever occur? No, not really. They love the image of themselves.


Spheres of control – pride and proud of it

narcissitic HeisenbergAs the world turns, so does the way in which a person projects his or her image. Proud when it’s the image wanted and ashamed when the person is no longer able to deliver.

The common thread is an over-inflated sense of self-worth, and a belief that he or she is better than almost anyone.

Did Walter White see that reflection in the mirror – or the blood dripping from his chin? Hidden behind dark glasses and big-screen fantasies, he became whomever he needed to be in order to achieve his objective.

Seen, felt and heard were the rant towards others – treating them terribly or rudely. Interaction became incredibly demanding and lacked empathy.

Giving up control truly means control. It, however, is foreign to the narcissist.


Spheres of control – wealth paves the way to grandiosity

HeisenbergMillions (hundreds of millions) of people connect wealth with the belief that it provides security and protection. Factually stated, wealth and the pursuit of money is for many people, proof of security. And for many more millions of people, wealth buys happiness (or at least it opens up a world of potential happiness).

The sphere of control as it extends from a monetary front creates a multi-faceted and complex construct. It bolsters the sense of entitlement. Meaning, as a person’s level of privilege rises, that person becomes increasingly self-focused – in a sense, becoming the center of their own world and worldview.

The outcropping most associated with this construct is an arrogantly superior and disdainful disposition. One that is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, and brilliance. Underscoring any one word only means that all words are underscored.

Walter White would be proud.


Spheres of control – and the evolution of life – existence

green_vortexThe meek shall inherit the earth but the wise man knows he does not get to decide how long he lives. Certainly we can control when we pass, but no one can control how long we walk this planet. The right to life is a temporary hall pass and we all return to dust in the wind. So why do we operate as though we can control life itself or the people around us? Is control a method by which we gain comfort over the stresses of life? Does it produce a smooth path on which we can tread?

Psychologists who study human behavior will often make the statement that domination is an illusion and fleeting at best. Anthropologists believe, generally speaking, that domination is the faulty backbone of a self-righteousness man (or woman). In essence, the type of person who displays moral superiority intertwined with narcissistic behaviors. It’s complicated, detached, and is derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Unlike clothing, this isn’t something you outgrow. It’s connected like an appendage. For anyone with an objective lens, it’s nothing more than a Walter White fantasy being played out down the hallway in some planetary sphere we call the corner.


Gift giving and the care meter. Gifts and caring need revisiting.

Care_meterDoes the notion of gift-giving conjure up smiles, positive interaction and appreciation? Leave off the appreciation – and the notion still evokes smiles and positive thoughts for most of us. Right? Anticipating a gift – somewhat delayed by say … the United States Postal Service or even FedEx …. is enough to warm the heart of even the Wicked Witch of the West! At least that’s what I saw when I watched the Wizard of Oz the last time (37 and counting BTW).

Some people equate ‘love’ and ‘gifts’ as one in the same, and without a present they don’t feel loved. Have you ever heard the words, “I didn’t get nothing!” …? I have, and it feels – well – strange. Ever heard the words, “got your card – what was the amount?” I have, and it was the last time I’ll hear those words.

Just to reiterate my commitment related to gifts, let’s revisit the Surf808 gift giving policy: For special occasions (birthdays, invented retail holidays such as mothers/fathers days, Christmas, etc.), the gift will be a symbol of the relationship. Should there be a relationship, the gift will reflect the essence of the relationship in at least two ways. First, it will be meaningful to the giver and receiver. Second (and this is important), it will not a financial contribution. Unlike Obama’s health care plan, the Surf808 gift giving policy includes a recommendation for the receiver … just in case!

The policy states: it’s best to pre-purchase a ‘from-me-to-me” gift to ensure you receive what you want when you want it. Gosh that was simple!

When in doubt, check the Care Meter and you’ll know what it reads.


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After a few days, I look like I’m a resident of Maui.

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Remember the stacks?


Talk to the shoe.


Enter the bunny.


Bacon is a food group for millions of people worldwide.


Top 10 Reasons to Stop Smoking in 2012.


Top 10 Reasons to NOT drink soda: it has a real impact on your system.


New Years Resolutions: Ten things to consider.

 

1. Get Started: Create a calendar and commit to what you can do.

2. Think Positive: The glass can be half-empty or half-full. Either way you’re right. Focus on growth and the process of filling the glass.

3. Take Action: Small steps are better than NO steps. Simply, take action.

4. Be Focused: The world keeps turning, there will be distractions. Stay focused on your plan.

5. Be Determined: See the vision and the goal and stay on your path. If you get side tracked, come back to your path.

6. Attract It: Thoughts of success help attract what you need. What we think we become.

7. Track It: When positive gains are made, make note of it. It’s easier to be thankful for positive gains when you can literally see them on paper.

8. Make it Happen: Where there is a will there is a way and you’ve got to want to bring about change – partly by possessing an attitude that you can make it happen.

9. Share It: When you speak about it with others you affirm what you are creating, attracting and bringing into reality. It encourages the universe to cooperate.

10. Believe: The best advice is this — You gotta’ believe to receive. Believe that it’s a reality and it is a reality.

 


Pearl Harbor ignited a fire. America made sure it was extinguished. God bless America.


December and Holiday parties; please be careful with consumption. Drive sober or get pulled over.


Word to the wise.


The Whole Foods Shift – Four Weeks Later.

If you asked me what ‘whole foods’ meant – roughly five weeks ago – I would have said, “a supermarket with some nifty prepared foods that cost more but are real tasty.” Today, I have an entirely different definition. Radically different. We’ve watched: Food Matters (2x), The Beautiful Truth (2x), Food, Inc, Forks over Knives (3x), and read a BUNCH of articles online – along with 12 or so books (cookbooks, etc.).

To save some time, here is my CliffsNotes version of what I learned: Everything we eat has an effect on our health. Our food determines the quality of our blood, which affects our cells, tissues, organs, and even our minds. When we eat healthy foods, we strengthen our bodies. When we eat foods without nutritional value, we weaken our bodies. Choosing foods that supply us with adequate vitamins and minerals is essential to our well-being. Whole foods are foods in their most complete state; they are unrefined and do not contain harmful chemicals and additives which damage our bodies. Incorporating whole foods into our daily diets enables our bodies to become strong and healthy. Once we are physically healthier, we can begin to live a more vibrant, full life.

Eating whole foods is challenging. I don’t mean in the physical eating sense, I mean in the gathering, preparing sense. Earth Fare, our current local version of Whole Foods, Inc., serves us well. It accelerated the process of finding organics and packaged products with fewer than five ingredients.

The other piece to the challenge … getting rid of the crap hiding in the pantry! You’ll find a photo below where some food items are spread out over a small table. Those items represented roughly 60% of what was in our pantry. Many of the items in the photo might seem healthy – but the labels tells a different story. If you laugh you’ve probably got the same issue in your pantry – or worse – you’ve talked yourself into believing your eating habits are nutritional.

I interact with more than 100 people per week and only one or two of them eat whole foods. I’ve not taken a poll, but I believe we’re probably the only ones eating a whole foods diet three meals per day. Every day.

The mental highway we’ve traveled over the past five week landed us in a good space. Again, it’s not vegan, vegetarian, Gerson, or raw foodism. It’s a blend that works for us. Dairy is now limited to organic cheese. Milk was replaced with almond milk. Beef with ahi. Chicken is organic – so is the turkey. Vegetables abound and are organic. Processed foods are avoided. Cereals are organically sprouted and oatmeal is steel cut. Sweeteners are now honey or nothing. It’s a change – for sure. Food tastes different – and the texture is different. Much like anything in life, the first encounters may not be 100% what you’d expect – but knowing it’s good for you enlivens the flavor and the experience.

I’m really proud of my wife. She’s gone the extra mile to learn and to help both of us adapt to this major life change. She’s also the chef who configures new dishes in hopes they “stick.” HA! Make no mistake, it’s a significant life change – and it will require attention, care and feeding (no pun intended). You could liken it to a relationship. Thankfully I’m sharing the journey with my sweetie — a whole foods chick. Bak-bak.



Portion control and food control – if you only knew what’s going on behind the scenes.

Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner.The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

This film caused me to re-think most every meal I consumed from 1980 to present. Beef and poultry as we know it (today) are NOT healthy. Period. Food, Inc. tells the true story behind poultry and beef production. Chickens raised in a grow-out houses (injected with ?, and fed questionable grain) are not a healthy food choice. Beef production is horrifically bad and processed beef scares me. Shock and awe worked. Food, Inc. arrested our attention and we heard the message. Yes, we heard the message, and we decided to take action.

Twenty minutes ago my wife cleared the pantry of processed foods, and cleared out almost half of what was stored in the refrigerator. The remaining items contain 5 ingredients or less. 

Ok then. We’re not vegan but we’re eating vegan dishes. We’re not vegetarians but we’re eating vegetarian dishes. We’re not whole food Nazis either but we’re eating whole foods as if we live on a farm (from the early 1900′s before chemical companies took over the food industry). We switched to organic poultry, seiten, and ahi (wild caught), and organic turkey breast.

In summary, sourcing truly healthy foods is challenging. This type of transformation means we are reading labels, and taking time to research questionable ingredients. It also means we’ll review scientific data behind food claims, all of which are interesting. We believe we’re on a better path forward. Let’s hope so. More so than ever, we believe you are what you eat.


Think about your body – and what you consume. Really.


Peace comes in waves. Just make sure to look forward, not behind you.

The phrase, “don’t look back” gives the brain a tangled command — a command the brain ignores. The brain hears “look back” because the word “don’t” is an unclear directive. The brain hears, “look back” in an effort to gain clarity. When waves roll, a forward-facing view generates an opportunity for much better outcomes. The simple truth of being positive, even in moments of stress or confusion, helps create a brighter lens. Even when you’re held under water for a two wave set, give your mind the freedom it needs to bring about a favorable outcome. Relax. It does a body good.


Waste not – for we have not – a ‘plan b.’


Diabetes: do we need a cure or cure for the American diet?


Whatever happened to Double Bubble? It used to be tasty and good.


Silly is as silly does. A kid-like lifestyle helps dreams come true.


Go dreams go!


October 5 marked the loss of two great people. Steve Jobs and my great aunt, Lucy Talley Dupwe.

When I look around my home, it’s filled with lots of photos of my family.  If the house is on fire, this photo is coming with me. Of all the images I possess, this one photo is very important.

The folks in this photo showed me love, affection, and kindness as youngster. Some of the very best memories of my childhood are connected with them. The three women from left to right – Granny, Momma Sue and Aunt Lucy were so loving and gracious. God bless them all.

Far left – I believe that was Uncle Dee. I didn’t know him. The man to his right is my great grandfather – or Little Daddy, and the lady next to him is Laura Talley (his wife) or Granny. When I think of the house behind them – on Homewood Road in Memphis – well, that was THE place for my summers.

Granny was super laid back. I would sit in her lap for hours – listening to her read the Bible. The fact is, she read the Bible cover to cover at least three times. Need I say more? Next to Granny are two of her children, Sue Avery, or Momma Sue, and Lucy Dupwe, or Aunt Lucy.

Momma Sue was the bomb. She drove a Chevy, had a garden, flew balsa gilders with my sister and me … usually late into the evening during summer. Momma Sue taught me how to fish and gave me the nudge to be creative. I miss her.

Next to her is Aunt Lucy. She was equally as fun. Look at that smile. What do you see? I see a woman who knew how to live. Look at those glasses! I spent a lot of summers at Aunt Lucy and Uncle Floyd’s house. Jonesboro was far away but there was a milk shake stop along the road that had peppermint shakes. What ever happened to that place?

Gosh those are fond memories. Aunt Lucy was like a grandmother to me. I know a lot of people will miss her. Thankfully I am a better person in life because of her love and kindness. I’m one of those people who will miss her.

What else can I say? They all look happy except for Uncle Dee (the man on the far left). He seems to be saying, “take the damn photo and let’s go!”  

Peace be with you Aunt Lucy.

 


Someday. Some days are something else. Sometimes.


Back home to a “Hawaii state of mind.” Right on.


The world is a little wacked these days. AA+ and we wonder who is next in line for President.


The Devil’s rules will rock the Tour. Someone wasn’t telling the truth about their supplements!


The last book I read: “Why redheads are Jesus freaks.”

Four years, one hundred and three days ago I had dinner with the author of this book. Fictionally speaking of course. The dinner was nice – a tad bumpy – but ended with a hug and ‘friendly’ kiss. I wasn’t convinced then, but I am now, that redheads are Jesus freaks. I know, I’m about to marry one. Figuratively speaking of course.

Four years is just about the right amount of time to wait … to marry. When I met Amy I was given some advice from a cousin whom I call an aunt who said, “live at least one season of life with her (Amy) and then you’ll know.” I decided to live four years of four seasons. To make sure – that she is sure (HA!).  I once commented that if we’re still dating after four years will you be around … and her response, “probably not.” Then again, this is the same woman who would have turned and ran if I met her with a half-sleeve tat. Or, if upon meeting her kids that I would have suggested, much less encouraged, that we watch Dog the Bounty Hunter as a family unit (NOTE for the ‘other’ parents: it’s an educational show!).

Fast-forward the TIVO box. In March of this year I traveled to Moloka’i, Hawai’i for some recon work. I leveraged my spring break visit to Moloka’i as means for surveying the island as a possible wedding destination and/or honeymoon location. After my first full day on the island, I was convinced I would marry my Jesus freak on this island in the middle of the Pacific.

Upon my return home I mentally bookmarked the experience, but didn’t do anything. I mean, I thought about the idea and kicked it around in my head  – but that was all.

Ask yourself the question, why get married?

Over the past few months when mentioning the topic (of marriage) to friends and colleagues, most often I received a simple response – why? Typically the follow-up question is, “how many couples do you know who are truly happy.” Sure, we all know couples who appear to be happy, but which ones are faking it?

Marriage counselors and therapists often define “good relationships” as being “good” 50% of the time (together). Define “good” however you wish.  Recently I read somewhere that divorcees who do not remarry within two years of the “decree” are 87% less likely to marry again in their lifetime.

Ok then – why? If you know, tell me.

Honestly, these bits of interaction have been stumbling blocks to my thought process.

In late July I traveled to north Georgia for a speaking gig and had the opportunity to break bread with some colleagues within the professor ranks.  During the course of dinner each of us took time to share life stories. When it was my turn, I’m not sure what happened but I blurted out, “I’m getting married at Christmas in Hawai’i.” A hearty congratulatory round of cheers was followed with, “give us some details.”

I had a sketch but no details. I told the group that I hadn’t proposed, I didn’t have a ring and I wasn’t going to ask my girlfriend to marry me until we arrived on the island of Moloka’i. I basically said, “I’m going to propose on the first night and suggest that we marry while staying there.”

The responses immediately fell into two camps:

Camp A: Wow – that’s very romantic.
Camp B: Why?

The facial expressions were priceless. Half the group gave me the “you’re crazy” look backed with a dazed you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me-eye-roll.

Camp A (mostly women) smiled (beaming) as if to say, “we approve.”

The leader of the group basically said, “that gave me goose bumps. I’m going to call my husband when I get back to the room and tell him your story.”

Yeah, it gave me goose bumps too.  I felt like I got married at dinner and I hadn’t answered the “why” question.

Press pause on the TIVO box for a moment. Does someone contemplating marriage need to answer the “why” question?

Yes.

You most certainly do.

If you do not answer the “why” question honestly, you will make a mistake. Trust me on this point. I didn’t answer the “why” question the first time (first marriage) and I made a huge mistake.

Push the TIVO button and zip over to September. In a meeting with my intern group I casually mentioned that I was getting married and the team responded with – “you’re engaged?” My response (literally), “was that a Camp A or Camp B question?” No one understood me so I blurted out, “I’m getting married in Hawai’i at Christmas on the beach – and no I don’t plan on asking her to marry me until we arrive.”

In unison – Camp B facial expressions.

Then the conversation unfolded:

“Have you bought a ring?”

“No.”

“Why don’t you let her pick it out?”

“It wouldn’t be a surprise.”

“I’ve never heard of such a thing. What about your family and hers …”

“It’s not about them, it’s about us.”

“What if she says no (giggles)?”

“She would say yes today.”’

“Then why don’t you ask her and then get married there?”

Ahh, the “why” question!

My simple response, “because we’re already married – and the ceremony only affirms what we already know.” Then I fielded more Camp B responses. With Pandora’s box open, I had no choice but to cut it off.  I then asked the ladies to Google wedding dresses based on some wedding photos I found (beach weddings taken on Kaua’i and Moloka’i).

You guessed it. Major Camp B responses. You’re going to select her wedding dress?!?!?! The looks included a touch of WTF, BTW.

In order to keep this post somewhat readable I’ll summarize by saying this: the intern group was engaged as the official wedding planners after I shared the “why” (which I’ll do later in this post).

In the back of my head one thought emerged, “where’s my jet pack?”

Zip the remote and review the footage from October. On my birthday all the interns took me to lunch. A few of them went along just to meet my girlfriend and others to consume margaritas. I was there to celebrate another year of life. The wedding planners were there to ensure the dress size was correct, and to execute recon work related to style.

Late in October I focused on rings, event wedding planners and process. My checklist grew from a few simple to-dos to an all-out event list. Think about it. What does it take to execute a wedding? A location, a place to honeymoon, a minister or JOP, a license, music, a photographer, flowers, witness(es), Champagne, cake, etc. Seriously, the list is substantive. I could spend countless paragraphs sharing the details of event planner selection, dresses, rings, my clothes, the flower choices, photography stylists, etc. Just rest assured, all details were covered (except one, and I’ll get to that in a minute).

Zip the TIVO box to early December and the intern event planners review the actual dress, they survey the clothes I intend on wearing, the wedding planner’s flower selection, the beach/locational images, the actual rings (no one was allowed to wear it; they observed), the watch … and my ring. My ring? Well, yes …. I realized that on short notice Amy wouldn’t have a ring to give me, so I bought one for the occasion. The inscription reads, “Me Ke Aloha * Moloka’i * 12/24/10.” Me ke aloha translates to, with love.

Let’s focus on the “why” for a moment.

Why? Here’s why: Amy is the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. Really. She’s loving and kind – not in a motherly way but in a partnering way. She tolerates me and let’s me figure out that I’m wrong when I’m wrong.

Amy doesn’t yell at me. Ever. She doesn’t pick fights and rarely is miffed about anything.

She’s got my back (I’ve got hers too).

She’s very kewl.  How many girlfriends – or wives – or friends do you know that would get out of bed at midnight and drive to the airport to jumpstart your dead battery? I only know one person.

Amy doesn’t do drama, sagging hearts or deliver bullshit when she’s wrong. She doesn’t ever turn the tables.

Amy is ready to go with or without the makeup. No kidding. You can actually touch her hair when she’s gussied up.

She’s perfectly willing to get on the scooter and motorpace me in the rain. Truth.

Amy is smart and intelligent. When in doubt don’t Google it, ask Amy. As a financier, her numerical and statistical aptitude is surpassed only by her ginormous vocabulary, grammatical skills and knowledge, and her literary knowledge. Whew.

On the other hand, she understands what duct tape and a Leatherman make. A toolbox.

She is kind and loving with her children. Naturally it’s one of the reasons why they are such great kids (the other is that their dad is a good father).

Amy is mentally tough and resilient. When pressure mounts, she stays cool.

There is never any pressure to do, go, get or buy. In fact, we both can drive Benzes and certainly we can afford “the house” – but she and I both agree, why?

Amy tolerates me listening to Hawaiian music every day.  When I’m home that’s the music that we live our lives by … Aloha. The Hawaiian quilt she’s been working on for the past 18 months+ was started because I asked her to consider it.  Amy didn’t start with a pillowcase. Nope, she started with a king-sized quilt of Hawaiian breadfruit (the traditional starting point for Hawaiian women – otherwise knows as the beginning).

Every morning we hug and kiss – and she always says, “have a good day, I’ll call you later.” And she does exactly that. She reaches out. Amy actually makes the whole process of “relating” easy. It’s void of fussy interaction.  Amy sees the bright side of life and the glass is nearly full all the time.

She likes vintage Five-O, and even though she’s fair skinned (with red hair) she loves the beach, the hikes, the lava, and the Sandwich Islands as much as I do (this is our third trip and our fourth is planned for March of 2011).

Amy is everything I ever dreamed of in a mate. Our inner sanctum is our own. We respect that and each other. She doesn’t ever bandwagon when others kid me. In fact, she’s not too keen on people funning around to test our relationship.

I’m inspired being with her. My heart is lifted and my days (and nights) are brighter. When you add it up (Forrest Gump said it best): “we goes together like peas and carrots.”

Let’s answer why? Because I truly love Amy. Because I have her trust; she has mine.

Get this, I have the “relational license” to plan a secret wedding without her knowledge and know that she’ll say “yes.”  How many women do you know that would be thrilled? I know of only one – and I am moved by that woman.

So, if you’re not doing anything on Christmas Eve, we’ve got lots of room in our palace and on the beach. BTO.

PS – I forgot to share the one item I didn’t snag and ship in advance: a strapless bra. I looked in her storage area but didn’t find one. This is a significant oversight, but I believe we can procure such a garment in town later this week.

PSS – do not call her, she’ll reach out in due time. Remember, this is a surprise.


COSD FullAccess, Boston – 2010: education, technology, and career pursuit.


Sometimes our message hits home.

If you ask the average college student about their career aspirations, you’ll hear a range of answers. Some of which are expected. On a rare occasion you’ll obtain an answer that is refreshingly honest – along the lines of, “I don’t know!”

When I have the opportunity to stand up and share my personal chapter and verse, I cut through the fluff, the pomp and the circumstance. My story is usually brief, “I was kicked out of UTK and now, after 11 years teaching at a college level, I’m making a difference. And no, I’m not enrolled in a work release program.”

College students of my era weren’t blessed with outsider views. Academia was the only view we witnessed on a daily basis. My 1984 collegiate window was small, inwardly focused and while optimistic, it was clouded because the real-world was blocked.

Looking in the rear view mirror – thousands of miles later, 78 speeding tickets later, five agencies later, five cities later … I know my life would have evolved differently had someone taken the opportunity to share their story. Ergo the reason I do so today.

Would life be different? Would my career path have changed courses? What if?

Given the opportunity, I stand up and share the good, the bad  and the not-so-obvious. Had someone told me to define my “A Plan,” I would have chuckled because I didn’t have a “B Plan nor a C Plan.” I had a get-a-job-plan. Funny how life scares you into making decisions.

What I want to know is what I need to know now – that stems from I’m going to know when I’m 70.

Ha! Sometimes the message hits home.




The true peace of life begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. ~Joseph Conrad


Hawaiian jealousy and the root of envious crappy-crap.

Lanikāula, the kāula, Moloka‛i was a prophet of the island. His fame was so great that it incurred the jealousy of Kawelo, prophet of Lāna‛i. Kawelo sought every means possible to destroy Lanikāula. His efforts were rewarded when he discovered where Lanikāula went to relieve himself. Kawelo made a hole in a sweet potato and filled it with his rival’s excrement. Then he took it back to Lāna‛i where he prayed his victim to death.

When Lanikāula saw his end was near, he asked his sons to suggest a burial place. he found each suggestion unsatisfactory except that of his youngest son. So Lanikāula was buried in a kukui grove near his home. In the grave were placed his personal belongings, which, by the power invested in them by kahuna, would bring harm to anyone who disturbed the remains. So Lanikāula rests in his kukui grove, famed in songs of Moloka‛i.


What problem? I thought we rid ourselves of those?

When we look at the cards we’re dealt – in life – or on a daily basis, we make a choice as to the reaction or action we take based on the situation at hand. Believe it or not, there are those around us who hope the reaction is a painful one … in a small, or possibly a significant way. Rather than building and extending rapport, they seek to tear down any hint of a foundation of rapport.

When this happens, it leaves us feeling diminished and angry, because here’s what they’re passively expressing: “I don’t regard you as capable of resolving this issue with me,” or “I’m uncomfortable sharing my real feelings with you,” or “You and your feelings don’t matter here,” and “It’s easier (on me) to forfeit this connection and disappear, than to muster the courage I need to repair it.” I’m not sure if this is any consolation, but they’re showing you how they were treated and abandoned growing up, and unresolved childhood issues are always repeated in adulthood.

Yes, people do want to hurt others and they seek out opportunities to negatively affect their success in life. They seek to negatively impact the lives of folks they dislike or those that are in their way. Throw in an avoidance mindset (for conflict resolution) and you have a very nasty gathering.

For many people, the thought of conflict-resolution is a road block to deeper relationships that provide more enjoyment and satisfaction in life. However, the average person typically doesn’t accept the fact that they share in the problem. People who avoid such situations tend to strengthen the conflict and block true progress.

Some psychologists suggest that passive-aggressive behavior is an outcropping of childhood trauma and stressful parental relationships. I’m no psychologist, but I agree. Avoidance behavior is one of the defenses that’s associated with narcissism. Narcissistic individuals lack authentic ego strength, and this core deficit makes it nearly impossible for them to acknowledge their flaws or failings. They may be quick to point out your shortcomings, but confronting their own invokes intolerable levels of shame and self-loathing.

People will tell you who they are and I firmly suggest you believe them. When someones says, “I’m just not a good person,” LISTEN.




A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. ~Earl Wilson


The ocean is a mighty harmonist. — William Wordsworth


Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. ~Robert Henri


“….let’s go…..”


SPF. A good thing. Even those days when all you need is 15.


For those “rock stars” – some pigs are more equal than others. Can you say “nose in trough?”


Little Gasparilla, Florida. They threwn in the pillows to make it more comfy.


Little Gasparilla: nothing little about the sunrise – from our house.


Kim Jong-il needs to chill but not with our ‘trill-ion.’

Kim Jong-il has gone off the deep-il in his wee-brain: Reparations payments have been an inseparable part of post-war recovery for centuries, and now North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il wants a piece of the pie. The Australian Broadcasting Company reports that North Korea is demanding – not suggesting; demanding – that the United States pay nearly $65 trillion U.S. in reparations for “six decades of hostility.” To be precise, KCNA, the official state-controlled news agency of North Korea, reports that just compensation for the tribulations suffered since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1945 is $64.96 trillion.

What can North Korea buy with $65 trillion? Perhaps with $65 trillion North Korea will be able to afford better industry, not to mention sensitivity training to help smooth over their issues with human rights violations. While it is difficult to take accurate assessment of North Korea’s human rights issues, Wikipedia indicates that Amnesty International has enough data to suggest that major sanctions against North Korea are warranted. The Korean War created a mass refugee exodus and divided Korean families, which in turn led to food shortages. UN troop movement (as well as bombardment) under U.S. leadership allegedly led to the near-collapse of society in North Korea. The nation was not expected to last, yet last it did. The strife of war caused as many as 750,000 divided families according to Korean Studies Review, a problem that continues to haunt that area in modern times.

Commemorating anniversary number 60: The Korean War occurred 60 years ago, and North Korea and Kim Jong-Il likely decided it was an opportune time to remind the world of what they claimed was 5 million North Koreans “dead, wounded, kidnapped or missing.” In addition, they claim that U.S. sanctions have made their economic recovery nearly impossible. These sanctions date before North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006, says KCNA. None of this takes into account any of the suffering numerous world sources show that North Korea inflicted upon its own people.


Ever wonder why there is so much T2 diabetes in America?


The truth will set you free – if you can listen to both sides of truth.

Do you see two sides of the story – or just one side of the equation? When you hear negative commentary about someone do you assume the worst? Let’s say the person who told you something has some kind “proof” to substantiate their claim. Do you listen to what they say about that person and buy into the thinking?

This routine of information processing leads to errors in judgment. It can lead you to think that the person (in question) must be a horrible person.

Or, are you a bit more mature and wise in your view of people and take the input as just part of the story. Do you try to find out both sides of the story before making judgments?


While I believe I am usually a good judge of character, there are times where I miss the mark because I’m not listening to both sides of the equation. More often than note, I view both sides before I make a mental picture about a situation, an outcome or a person. I’ve learned the hard way that looking at all sides tends to provide a clearer view about the realities before me.

I look at both people. I look at what has been said and done – then I decide what is right.

I wish more people could do the same thing. Remember, there will be times in your life when you others to listen to both sides … including your own.

Peace out.