An 808 way of life

LISTEN

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?!”


Image

Spheres of control – the power of discipline

Tread-lightly

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.


Image

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

VG8A6089


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.


Attitude: It’s so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to. ~Annie Gottlier

Tude

When we walk into a sand trap, step on the land mine or fall into the pit, the mind can whirl its configuration to keep us there for a while. Climbing out of the bunker, picking up the torched leg or climbing from the pit can be as easy as thinking positively. Easier said than done. Trust me, my Wednesday was a challenge on all three fronts. The power to convert those strong negative feelings requires great mental fortitude and the ability to focus on one thing. If the mind races around the mental house like a broken bottle rocket, it will likely explode in the wrong place.

What to do; thought from over ‘n here.

Some folks consume more adult beverage than needed and others take similar routes. I prefer the vigorous routine of working out – by riding my bike for an extended period. This might be a preference for many people. A vigorous walk, a hearty yard cleaning or a phone call to a friend might work as well. What does work – and I mean really work – is thinking and emitting positive energy. “Do” is the answer.

Peace.


Worry wastes what we want when we wish we were wonderful.


BP had best figure out a new game plan. There is no place to hide.

There is a growing concern across the world about BP. I suggest they don’t look to social media (for now). Rather, look at the plunge of the stock price and how many board members are opting to resign. Shall I go on? For now I am the only person professing the irony of BP’s purchase of the beloved “Gulf Oil” brand two decades ago. Think about it: BP bought Gulf Oil. Fast forward, its decisions are interesting. I mean, it was their drilling rig. Right?

Suggestion: if you can drill 5,000′ for oil then you had best be in a position to turn if off on command.

I believe the rest of the oil industry is now ‘on notice.’ We need you – but I can assure you the world is changing its tune.

One of the few brands that I truly value, Porsche, introduced the 918 with a definitive German flag proving high MPG is on the horizon.

Nuf said. Did I hear boycott anyone? Anyone?


BP Oil tragedy. Think about this fact: BP bought Gulf Oil. Now wrap that around your spinning wheel.


Advertising gone wrong. Lack of funds is usually a lack of “d” and “s” (dollars and sense).


“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” — Ernest Hemingway


“Isn’t it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool’s Day and ends with cries of “May Day!”?”


If you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you’re going to be cockeyed today.

If it’s Thursday and you’re focused on Saturday then you won’t EVER notice the butterflies that were present today. And if you focus on Sunday while you are at work on Friday then you’ve just shortened your weekend by TWO days.

As Dale Carnegie once said: “Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today.” I recently googled this quote and found the Paul Harvey ending … “Period. ‘Nuf said. What he said.”


“Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.” William Hazlitt


I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright. ~Henry David Thoreau


The soul never thinks without a mental picture.


It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. ~Tom Brokaw


We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


When the sun sets each day, depending on your view, it’s either beautiful or not. It’s really dependent on your view – literally and figuratively.


The past is a good place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.


“Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?” Erma Bombeck


You are the music while the music lasts. ~T.S. Eliot


Happiness is where you find it.

Nearing 4Pm I realized the day had been the typical blur – and my mind raced ahead to the County Clerk’s office where a small, tiny decal awaited my check. The only ‘thing’ in my way was the distance between the office and the Clerk’s office just 18 miles away. The sun was shining – the birds chirping – the blue sky was clear – the clouds few and puffy white – the music a little sweeter – the inevitable Firerock Pale beckoning my tastebuds.

All was good.

Within five miles of the office the traffic slowed to a 5mph crawl. I knew something was up – but I had no idea how bad or what it was. The clock ticked away slowly at first and when the hand touched 4:15 I knew that the Clerk’s office would be closed if and when I arrived.

As I opened the sun roof of my car (I rarely do that) I felt the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and smelled the cigarette smoke from a man smoking in the car next to me. For an instance I thought, “how dare you ruin this moment” – but I continued to smile. Sure I was annoyed. But what could I do?

Stop for a moment.

Have you ever stepped up to the bathroom sink, reached for the toothpaste and squeezed the tube but nothing was left in it? At that moment you either threw it down in anger or shrugged your shoulders and brushed without the paste … or found another tube somewhere hidden under the sink.

No matter – it was what we decided that determined how we felt and in doing so it attracted more of what we felt.

Back to the drive home, I shrugged my shoulders and said aloud, “toothpaste.” I then laughed. I raced, mentally ahead in wonderment of what lay ahead at the dreaded intersection of Topside Road and Alcoa Highway. It’s notorious for accidents – and I’ve witnessed more than 10 at that location over the years.

Nearing the intersection I could see that we were being diverted onto Topside – and that seemed odd until I saw three fire trucks and countless police cruisers. THP had a video camera set up and was filming the extraction of ‘bodies’ from a car. A pickup truck was in the northbound lane – smashed and lifeless. Police were allowing northbound lane traffic to pass single file but nothing was going south.

As our single file lane neared the intersection I saw a black bag – then two. My heart sank deep and I realized the crash involved fatalities.

At that moment I was angry, annoyed, happy and a whole bunch of other things all at once. Angry that it happened (isn’t it time that we change the rules of road for that intersection!!!), annoyed that police were on the spot but are no where to be found (daily) when traffic is attempting to turn left onto Alcoa Highway, and happy … well sort of happy …. that I was alive.

The tiny decal for my car’s license plate isn’t that important after all.

What is important is that I appreciate each day as if it were my last.

In that moment I figured out why I’m so damn happy when I’m in Hawai’i. Why I’m so content when I visit – why I’m so eager to return again and again. Why? Because I noticed EVERYTHING and in doing so time slows down and I’m in the moment. I’m into life itself and I soak it up as if I have just a few days to live. I’m in the moment so vividly and clear that I soak up everything – including those things that typically annoy me. But when I’m there (in my paradise) I’m super-happy. Not because it’s Hawai’i, but because I’m living life.

As I turned the corner onto Topside I realized something very, very important: happiness is a state of mind. Either you’re in it. Or you’re not.

I’m in it.

———————-

If Paul Harvey were alive, he’d offer the rest of the story:

APRIL 9th, 2010

In a press release, Sgt. Bud Cooper said Jean Smith, 82, of Oak Ridge, and Clara Miller, 75, of Clinton, were killed in the two-vehicle crash.

At 2:50 p.m., Smith, who was driving a 2006 Toyota Camry, was attempting to turn left onto Alcoa Highway northbound from Topside Road when she failed to yield and pulled out in front of a Dodge Ram truck driven by Brandon L. Barnes, 23 of White Pine, Cooper said. Barnes hit the driver’s side door of the Camry.

According to the press release, Smith was killed instantly. Miller was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where she died as a result of injuries from the crash, Cooper said.

Cooper said Barnes was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital and is being treated for his injuries.


End homelessness in Knoxville.

What will it take to truly end homelessness?

No one seems to be sure of an answer. If it were approached the way in which our leaders approach war with other nations, I believe it would end much sooner.

The underlying question with that premise is would it end? I believe that homelessness is a component of human nature that can not and will not end. Ever.

How many of us, as children, wanted to run away from home because of some tragedy or other circumstance that we were experiencing? It could have been a grand parent passing away  – or that we landed ourselves into trouble by tracking the dog in the house. Whatever the case, running away seemed plausible. Naturally we had no where to go – we only had the urge to run. In the brief moments that we thought about the path, we eventually realized we would be displaced from our home. And then, in essence, homeless.


There are thousands of people in this world who are running from something. From themselves. From demons in their neighborhoods – from life itself. I believe that there are thousands more people living in temporary shelters that are equally homeless. Furthermore, there are thousands living in poverty-like conditions – right here in America – who might have a roof overhead, but it’s leaking, the rats consume much of the exposed food and the bugs and filth are pervasive.

“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.” Sheila McKechnie

Back to the question: can we end homelessness? The answers — yes, no, maybe, possibly. It depends on the person.

Can we positively impact how homeless people are cared for and improve the community (wherever we live) at the same time? The answers — yes, yes, and yes.

When someone asks you to give of your time, money, resources, possessions or mental capacity to positively impact this ’cause’ just remember the answer to the question – ‘can we end homelessness’ – is dependent on you.


How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.


Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality.


Tattoos by the numbers.

This is my 1,000th post on the PhotoMotoBlog.

More than 574,480 unique visitors have been to this site since its inception.

The weekly average the past four months has been in excess of 14,000 unique visitor per week.

My busiest day was February 17th, 2010 with 2,359 unique visitors.

Folks logging on my site originate from 37 different countries and the Hawaiian Islands.

Google is used to translate my site into 12 different languages.

I’ve logged more than 400 hours creating the site.

There are 2,535 images contained in this weblog.

Interestingly, it uses just a ½ MB of space.

The masthead has changed more than 100 times.

The posting rules have been broken once; that person didn’t break the rules again.

My blog site ‘encouraged’ management to create a ‘blog posting policy’ within my company.

This site has spun off into 22 other weblogs that I’ve created; the unique visitor totals for all sites is greater than 4,000,000.

I’ve been repeatedly asked to monetize several of my sites (no ads please).

The best part is that I really don’t care what anyone thinks about the content, the images nor the layout.

Somehow I’ve managed to connect with people whom I don’t know … for those folks …  mahalo nui loa!

Thank-you for logging onto my site.

Aloha


Prepared for the misleading crappy-crap of the day.

I’m certain that each of us has a conscience – and for most people it’s alive and in working order. For others, whew, I see signs that  read “out of order.”

Ever wonder how folks can just flat-out mislead you? Or, act as if they didn’t say or do something that you (and a dozen other people) witnessed?

Here’s a little advice for spotting a liar. Other than unintelligent liars who come out with things so far fetched you just have to laugh, there are a few other ways. You need a good memory to be a liar so you know what you’ve said to whom. Often their sins will find them out, but a good visual clue is their body language. Look out for exaggerated gestures or a shift in the tone of that person’s voice. Eyes are the windows of our souls and many people cannot look you in the eye properly when telling a lie. They will shift their gaze so as not to engage in direct eye contact.

Someone that I come in contact with on a daily basis (that I thought I could trust) juggled the truth and a lie and elected to lie to me. I didn’t feel very good about it. I’m still not feeling very good about it.

Yes, way (what a yack).


The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.


Who are we?

I relearned) an important lesson: when people tell you who they are – believe them. Truly believe in what they are saying about themselves … who they are and what they stand for.

How often do we discount what we observe, hear or feel when interacting with others? I believe it occurs regularly without giving it a second thought. Most often I find myself seeking the good traits and avoiding the offensive ones.

Remember, “when” a person communicates who they are, accept the truth.




Ocean News: LEAVE THE CITY


Hawaiian tattoos were made for this type of island. Ahh.


“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss


When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snowmen.


Focus on life’s journey rather than your destination. You find joy in doing – not finishing.

When we’re walking, running, riding, driving, cooking, eating, working … rather than focusing on what we need to do when we get where we’re going, focus on the process of getting there. Feel the ground .. feel the rhythmic movement of your legs as they carry you, notice the way your feet touch the ground. Or the way the wind presses against your jersey as you ride in 35 degree weather … or the way the ground moves around you as you crest 120mph … or the way the spices lay upon the eggs as you cook them for your family … or the way the lettuce crunches in your mouth … or the way you feel as you continue to solve complex problems of the moment.

Pay attention to how your body feels with each step. This can be done at any pace. Just focus your thoughts on your body’s natural movement and feel the sensations as travel. Can you feel the seconds tick … can you enjoy each of those precious moments? If so, you will arrive at your destination (be it the door of your house, the drop point where your car is located, the office, the dinner table, the moment when everyone toasts to a great meal or when you’re logging the days list) calm and centered.

Simple but complicated. Our minds rush constantly rush toward “the future.” BLEH!

Lately I’ve been caught up in my calendar and the enormous work load in front of me. This week I’m going to enjoy the ride, the food, the air, the music, the steps … the time.  Tick oneth.


When snow falls, nature listens. ~Antoinette van Kleeff


Kim Jong-il, a Mad Man, but boycotting Mad Men.

North Koreans don’t need DVR technology any more. The most important purpose of these devices — to fast forward through commercials — no longer applies, now that the reclusive Communist state has banned television commercials from the airwaves.

According to the Yonhap news agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was upset when he saw commercials showing up on Korean Central Television in early July. The report quotes a source close to Kim as saying the ruler’s response to the ad was: “What is this? That kind of rubbish appeared when China started reforms and openness.” He was obviously pissed and hasn’t been open to suggestions that he follow China’s lead in embracing a limited form of capitalism. Cha Sung-Su, head of the station, has been fired, and the last commercials were shown on August 31, 2009.

No one has seen Sung-Su since.



Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.

perfectly fine


Possessions are usually diminished by possession.

not what we own


Kim Jong-il: grade-A ‘something.’ With fear of death, everyone follows him closely.

Kim Jong-il inspectingSince Kjil is always looking at his country with eagle eyes, it seem that (maybe) the U.S. and China should cooperate to encourage North Korea to adopt economic reform. The most effective way to make North Korea more responsive would be to initiate a free trade agreement between South Korea and China. If so, such an FTA would represent a big shock and by extension a stimulant for North Korea. Obviously, China will never allow North Korea to become an American-led democracy, but will welcome KjIl if he reforms his country along lines acceptable to China. IF and WHEN that happens  – let me know.

I do believe this — South Korea, the U.S., China and Japan had best create a cooperative unified strategy for the post-Kim Jong-Il era … cause it’s coming. Most of us who are reading the back-story on Kjil recognize that when he passes there are likley two competing survival scenarios: 1)  adapt to a Chinese-style capitalist economy,  and 2) remain mired in Kim-style socialism. I vote for door #3 > give the people some protein, the children of North Korea the clothing and medical attention they deserve along with free iPods for anyone under 30, and cell phones for everyone over 18. Oh … and give the entire country access to the Internet so they can play catchup with the rest of the world. Nuf said.


Enough of the enough. Nuf said.

Smile tattoo


Kim Jong-il has something to say: de-nuke?

the real KjilNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-il declared Friday that the country will maintain the goal of de-nuclearization and work to preserve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Kjil also said North Korea wants to “solve related problems through bilateral and multilateral dialogue.” China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported this as Kjil’s response to a letter he received from Chinese President Hu Jintao during a meeting with State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who is visiting North Korea as a special envoy for Hu.

Analysts interpreted Kim’s indication of his intent to return to the six-party talks as a method of simultaneously addressing pressure from both China and the U.S. The analysts believe that North Korea is giving priority consideration to China’s role as the chair nation for the six-party talks that has consistently called for North Korea’s return.  At the same time, Kjil is expressing NK’s plan to resolve the issue of its return to the talks as a factor potentially limiting the breadth and depth of its upcoming bilateral dialogue with the U.S.

This feels complicated. The fact is, no-nukes is no-nukes. Kjil, you need to learn a new tact in life: chillaxing.


I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it. Mae West

throw up


Time is a great teacher.

wasted time


Kim Jong-il: clap along with me now ….

you crazy Dr


Kim Jong-il has a little-man’s complex. I’m sure he’s envious.

Kim Jong-il is a moron


Kim Jong-il crushes the soul of North Korea

There is no in or out in North Korea. “Lost” would be a better word to describe the people under the crushing ruler, Kim Jong-il.

Kjil and his belly goneInterestingly, the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) isn’t interested in what the rest of the world thinks. Kim Jong-il doesn’t care about the people of his country. With his rounded belly (which is atypical of the starved children, women and men of DPRK), people are given little opportunity to make sufficient money to buy what little food rations are available. Naturally his people are allowed no fruits nor meat – they are given vegetables and rice.

Computers, cell phone, internet access, cable, etc. are Kapu (Hawaiian for the Jong-il word: forbidden!). With just three TV channels there is little entertainment. Cameras are not allowed and certainly digital cameras – which would make the process of smuggling images outside the country super easy. City streets are bare at night and the lights are turned off at 9PM. The people under Kim Jong-il’s Gucci-laced shoes are soulless and crushed.

The day will come very soon when the leader (real or imposter) is deposed and hopefully the “sun” coming behind him will give the people something they deserve: a free look at the outside world. In all of the turmoil, I pity China the most – because when DPRK eventually opens its borders China will be the first place to land.

When I see an image of Kjil, I see darkness. Nothing but darkness.

Kim Jong-il, looking soulless himself


Tuesday’s message of the day: a real reason to turn around and go home. I didn’t, so yes the gossip-spreaders were annoying. Period.

annoying


The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.

ahh


Kim Jong-il, the Hilter of our millennium.

camp_3_smallTestimony from survivors and former guards has surfaced. The news isn’t pretty either – as it details the lives of 200,000 political prisoners estimated to be in the camps. According to news reports, they eat a diet of mostly corn and salt, they lose their teeth, their gums turn black, their bones weaken and, as they age, they hunch over at the waist. Most work 12- to 15-hour days until they die of malnutrition-related illnesses, usually around the age of 50. Allowed just one set of clothes, they live and die in rags, without soap, socks, underclothes or sanitary napkins.

Kjil and umbrella manThe camps have never been visited by outsiders, so these accounts cannot be independently verified. But high-resolution satellite photographs, now accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, reveal vast labor camps in the mountains of North Korea. The photographs corroborate survivors’ stories, showing entrances to mines where former prisoners said they worked as slaves, in-camp detention centers where former guards said uncooperative prisoners were tortured to death and parade grounds where former prisoners said they were forced to watch executions. Guard towers and electrified fences surround the camps, photographs show.

The camps have existed for half a century, 12 times as long as the Nazi concentration camps and twice as long as the Soviet Gulag. Although precise numbers are impossible to obtain, Western governments and human groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of people have died in the North Korean camps.

Kim Jong-il says the camps do not exist. Is because he’s not in one just yet?


Kim Jong-il: insane, mundane, and soon to be lit up like propane.

Kim Jong-il insane


Kim Jong-il: keeping his dudes looking like ladies.

Increasing numbers of women are being deployed in North Korea’s military, according to the stories of recent defectors arriving in South Korea. North Korean women soldiers are being deployed in frontline units. According to my research, women now represent more than 10 percent of the entire North Korean People’s Army. After digging into photo blogs about this topic, it became visually apparent that most of the artillery units are “manned” with women and there are independent women’s regiments and more women battalions. northkorea


Kim Jong-il: his boat turned, his gas mask worked, but the missile is not aimed at Hawai’i.

Kim_Jong_Il's_Presumed_Fate_and_SonAs many folks know, evildoer Korea is immediately north of Good Korea and south of China, limits with Russia to the northeast, on the top half of a peninsula that is west of Japan. It has water on both sides, and is probably a convenient place for throwing things into China, or to Vladivostok. It may also have some good surf beaches and shit, but we can’t say for sure because they haven’t been letting whitey — or much of anything, for that matter — into the country. That includes food, information, or even decent TV programming, which leads for a pretty anti-lulzy lifestyle. Millions of folks live in evildoer Korea, but none of them make Samsungs or Kias. The government is too busy being evildoers, and the citizens are too busy starving to death or being shot in the head by government officials to be doing much of anything.

Floating out in the Pacific evildoer Korea’s ship, Kang Nam has turned around and is heading back toward the south coast of China. It is currently in the vicinity of the Parcel Islands 100 miles off Vietnam, and there is no specified reason as of now for why it has changed course. Some ; ) speculate that the Minuteman 3 we lobbed “over there, over there” may have influenced the ‘tudes of evildoer Korea. Whatev.

Remember that within the borders of the US we enjoy a state of grace named Texas. As they say: don’t mess with Texas – and in this case the USA – because we shoot to kill and ask questions later.


Kim Jong-il and the opera? What’s next – he’s auditioning for American Idol?!@

Kim Jong-il whoIt’s not the first time that Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” is being staged in North Korea, but it’s the first time “eternal leader” Kim Jong-il has made a valued contribution to the premiere-in-the-making. Value contribution? Did he stuff a missile up someone’s ass? According to North’s Korea’s news agency KCNA, Kim Jong-il assisted with the rehearsal of the opera at Pyongyang’s Kim Won Gyun Conservatory, and provided guidance to the director and performers. I suspect he’s working with the performers to improve his own acting skills – since the “dud” pictured here is not the real “dude.”


Kim Jong-il: welcome to America. Did I say that?

kim_jong_il_profileInternet person Nicholas Guariglia, in a creative column titled “The U.S. Should Overthrow Kim Jong-il,” knows most things about the world so pay attention – he suggests that we first tell Kim Jong-il that if anyone in the world sets off a nuclear bomb in America, for whatever reason, as part of whatever cause, in association with any organization, America will blame Kim Jong-il. Good thinking Nick.

Why? Because Kjil is the only rug-rat holding nuclear shiznet at arms length suggesting he will target the US.

Message of the day Kjil: if you think America would investigate to see whether or not you were involved …. prior to nuking your entire freaking country …. well sorry, welcome to America. Don’t mess with the US, Texas or Hawai’i. The later of which plan to succeed from our “union” and collectively can stomp your freakin ashes – for good measure. Nuf said.


This just in: I knew the dude was a dud. KJil was also a known backup singer for Milli Vanille!

kim-jong-il-1Is Kim Jong-il for real? I’ve been asking that question since yesterday and now we learn more of the truth. But – my friends, it begins with a question. The question – is KJil (we’ll shorten his gay name for now) alive? This question has baffled foreign intelligence agencies for years but now a veteran Japanese expert on North Korea says the “dear leader” is actually dead – and his role is played by a double.

kim-jong-ilNo wonder we’re having issues with North Korea – it’s not with the real-dead Kim,  it’s with his action figure who plays one on Marxist TV!

The expert says Kim died of diabetes in 2003 and world leaders including Vladimir Putin of Russia and Hu Jintao of China have been negotiating with an impostor. Oopps!

He believes that Kim, fearing assassination, had groomed up to four lookalikes to act as substitutes at public events. One underwent plastic surgery to make his appearance more convincing. Now, the expert claims, the actors are brought on stage whenever required to persuade the masses that Kim is alive.

NKOREA-POLITICS-KIMThe author has been derided by rival analysts of the hermetic communist state. Yet so few facts are known about North Korea’s ruling dynasty that some of the strange things reported in Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura’s bestselling book cannot be readily explained.

The book, The True Character of Kim Jong-il, cites sources from inside North Korea and from the intelligence services of Japan and South Korea. One of its principal claims is that a voice print analysis of Kim’s speech at a 2004 meeting with Junichiro Koizumi, then the Japanese prime minister, did not match an authenticated earlier recording.

His book traces Kim’s supposed demise to autumn 2003 when he vanished for about 42 days. Most analysts put this down to mourning for one of his wives, a power struggle inside the Kim dynasty or fear of an American strike. Kim’s poor health has been the subject of speculation for decades. The professor’s contribution is to cite Russian and Chinese sources saying he had diabetes and illnesses of the heart, liver and lungs, with depression thrown in for laughs.

Kim_JongilThere have been persistent reports that a stand-in appears for Kim at military parades and he is notoriously reclusive. He did not appear in public to receive the Olympic torch in Pyongyang when it arrived (afraid his hair my torch up). To further the “proof,” the professor argues that no substantive policy decisions have been taken since North Korea joined nuclear disarmament talks in 2003.

South Korean analysts who attended two summits with Kim (before and after his supposed death) reported that he had indeed changed appearance. But that was because he had lost weight, quit smoking, given up cognac in favor of red wine and coaxed the rest of the politburo onto a health kick. Can I get a “huh?” Health kick? Do you mean he’s made a life-stage change? OMG, I might add that his hair has been missing too.

Remember: mess with the US
and you will lay dead with the rest!

dog-the-bounty-hunter



Kim Jong-il is way off his rocker. Can we send Dog the Bounty Hunter over to take care of bizness?

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday (as in June 18th) that the US military has set up additional defenses around Hawaii, consisting of a ground-based mobile missile system and a radar system nearby. Together they could shoot an incoming missile in mid air.

North Korean square pants“Without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say … we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory,” Gates told reporters in Washington. Gates’ comments come after Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported that North Korea might test fire a Taepodong-2 missile with a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers), sometime around the U.S. holiday of Independence Day on July 4.

Yomiuri said the missile, which could be launched from North Korea’s Tongchang-ri site, would fly over Japan but would not be able to reach Hawaii, which is about 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers) from the Korean peninsula.
pollWhat do Americans think about the situation? The results of a “little” poll taken online this past week validates America’s thoughts about the situation.

Success as defined by Thomas Jefferson:

thomas-jefferson-president“Nothing can stop a
man with the right
mental attitude from
achieving his goal.
Nothing on earth can
help the man with the
wrong attitude.”


the coffee spoke to me …..

coffee wise


What is this all about – jealousy?

According to my Oxford American online dictionary, jealousy is described as “resentment, bitterness, spite, distrust, mistrust, insecurity, anxiety, possessiveness and so on.” The bottom line for me on this: a jealous person is somehow resentful of another’s success, achievements, advantages, etc.


momentsJealousy’s close cousin is envy, and while closely related, there is a difference. Using my trusty online dictionary here’s what I learned: “envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another person while jealousy denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one more rightfully deserves.”

Jealousy can be categorized as unhealthy or healthy, depending on a person’s motives. Unhealthy jealousy is grounded in fear, insecurity, deception, or covetousness. When feeling jealousy, it’s best to examine the reasons for those feelings. First, is there a real threat truly or is it perceptual?

Jealousy can be good – and it needs to be developed in family-unit relationships. This type of jealousy is closely aligned with our innate nature to protectively fight for and then maintain relationships. Simply stated, the average person would not sit on the sidelines while another attempts to seduce his/her spouse, verbally attack with wrongful words, or deceive your child. The average person would fight for them – doing everything possible to declare the truth. I’ve not seen much of the fighting for me – ever – so it bugs me when a significant other sits on the sideline either laughing like a hussy or acting as if they can’t respond. Either way – it sucks.


The adventure with the Oxford American online dictionary helped me clarify and affirm my own feelings about jealousy. After reading the definition, I’m convinced that I’ve exhibited both varieties – healthy and unhealthy as everyone does/has from time-to-time. I suggest it’s better to appreciate one another and stand up for people whom we supposdly love.

Otherwise, when we profess words of love, the words are just that – words. And words aren’t enough.



“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.”

fortune-not


When you take it serious, it’s overly complicated.

life-is-too-important


We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

todaySurprisingly, it takes little time and effort to make a difference. During the day, in someone’s life, on the job, in the car, at the store, in the waiting room, at home, in your office, or even while you sleep. We all (as in everyone) have the ability. The real difference is how we use it.

Everyday take a moment to do one thing that helps another person.  Do it without the expectation of a return “thanks,” a wave, acknowledgement or even a smile. According to Nike, just do it. We all have the ability to change our world and our lives. When faced with the opportunity, use it. You’ll be glad you did.


Listen. Don’t explain or justify.


Do you hear or do you listen?

Have you noticed how some people don’t really hear what you’re saying? Ever had a conversation with someone (over and and over again) only to have it misinterpreted at some later date? Ever been frustrated with the lack of listening? Well, you’re not in the minority. The fact is, most people “hear” what they want to hear. Why? Because listening is “active” and hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. Thus, it’s the laziest form of interplay between people. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens.

Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences. Listening leads to learning. Most people tend to be “hard of listening” rather than “hard of hearing.”


Issues with the blog? Feeling criticized? Like to bully others? Think you’re always right? Now I get it. Right. Got it.


Hold onto something worth holding onto. Hang up when you’ve been on hold for too long.

Sometimes you have to let go to see
if there was anything worth holding onto.


Renew and plan ahead to ensure you have options.

The most successful people are those

who are good at plan B.


LISTEN: July 21st, 2008.

Listening refers to the act of hearing attentively. You can learn a lot by just listening. Some say, “they make good music–you should give them a hearing.”

Sound is vibration, as perceived by the sense of hearing, which as a phenomenon is called listening. Listening defines the domain of language proficiency that encompasses how humans process, understand, interpret, and evaluate spoken language in a variety of situations.

Hence, listening is an activity which we perform so as to decide what would be our next course of action.

I suggest listening.