An 808 way of life

Thoughts

Queen Lili’uokalani – proof of a sovereign nation

Liliuokalani_sitting_on_throne_(PP-98-12-012)“Before ascending the throne, for fourteen years, or since the date of my proclamation as heir apparent, my official title had been simply Liliuokalani. Thus I was proclaimed both Princess Royal and Queen. Thus it is recorded in the archives of the government to this day. The Provisional Government nor any other had enacted any change in my name. All my official acts, as well as my private letters, were issued over the signature of Liliuokalani. But when my jailers required me to sign “Liliuokalani Dominis,” I did as they commanded. Their motive in this as in other actions was plainly to humiliate me before my people and before the world. I saw in a moment, what they did not, that, even were I not complying under the most severe and exacting duress, by this demand they had overreached themselves. There is not, and never was, within the range of my knowledge, any such a person as Liliuokalani Dominis.”

 —Liliuokalani, Queen of the Hawaiian Islands, speaking about her abdication from her autobiography Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen


Thoughtfully we close out September.


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.


September 11th, 2001: “Another day that will live in infamy.”

Do you remember where you were on September 11th, 2001?

At 8:40-something, I remember our controller at the time flicking on the TV and asking me, “what’s this about?” I watched in awe as the news seemed like a Die Hard movie with John McClane hunkering down in the foreground.

It was real. It was unnerving and it was tragic. Never mind the conspiracy theories – and the upheaval within American homes from sea to shining sea. Those that were dialed into the news could only imagine that Orson Welles was orchestrating this on-air event from a remote location beyond the solar system.

As millions of Americans watched … all of us quickly realized that life was about to change. Isn’t that what we know to be true? Life is ‘change?’

I suspect we’ll continue to look back and wonder (years from now) and wonder … was this an inside job?

Let’s remember one thing (for evil-doers): life isn’t perfect, but karma certainly evens the odds.

Peace.


Note to all those with bad ‘tudes: The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.

Note to those folks who seemingly believe they can control others with an attitude  – “pump yo brakes!” The energy you’re sending out does one thing – it attracts more of what you are NOT wanting. The more we desist the more it persists.

I’m an objective sort of guy and try to view life as it’s all good. When thinking about ‘easy’ and ‘fun’ let it surface to the top of the list … rather than the bottom of your ‘to-do’s.’ All hail the easy and fun list.

If you’re out there frowning and miserable I’ve got some advice: your attitude reflects your thoughts. Nuf said.

“Power Rangers unite!”


The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. ~G.K. Chesterton


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


The soul never thinks without a mental picture.


“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Buddha


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


People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas!


After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. ~Miss Piggy


Florida vs Alabama, December 5th, 2009: win is “in.”

Rackmultipart

This was one of those games where two teams faced off and clearly one team didn’t show up. Go VOLS.  One team’s strength seemed much more powerful than the other team’s weakness. If you paid close attention, Alabama and Florida were very much alike — except one team didn’t show up. Both teams were driven by gladiators. Believe me, it was close at first but then it evolved into a lopsided MMA match where sucker punches were thrown for 4 full quarters.

I’m looking forward to the Peach Bowl – sponsored by Chick-fil-A. Go VOLS.


Kim Jong-il: you are testing the waters. Best listen to Colin Powell.

kim-jong-il-copySecretary Colin Powell, when he was a civilian, after he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, used to say that if North Korea ever attacked the south, the US or any other non-threatening nation with chemical or biological weapons, that we would turn North Korea into a charcoal briquette. We hope he hears the info. North Korea’s people are being held captive by a very sick coward.

As we crest the 4th – God Bless America – and may she strike when and where appropriate.


Kim Jong-il: eat shit and, oh, you’re already dead.

eng_Kim_jongil_BM_V_725522gEnough is enough. Kim Jong-il has proven he will stop at nothing to produce and proliferate nuclear weapons, and that is a no-no. Diplomacy has failed. Sorry TOTUS, you’ve not got his attention nor agent number one, two or three. Talking for the sake of talking is not working. The missile is still coming our way (or Aloha-way, so we’ve heard).  Serious powers ought to be emphasizing results, not process. “Soft power” is a problem cured by Cialis — not a national security strategy for North Korea. It’s time we started working to bring that twisted, Lilliputian, Chia Pet miscreant down. Or his stand-ins. Or stand-ups. That might be a Cialis issue too.


Kim Jong-il: Dead or alive? Not sure. If so, the signs are bad.

KNTPL


what do you remember?

moments


What she says.

bettywhite


Friday. Ready for the weekend.

dudeFriday (pronunciation IPA: /ˈfraɪdeɪ, ˈfraɪdi/) is the day of the week falling between Thursday and Saturday. It is the sixth day in countries that adopt a Sunday-first convention. In ISO 8601, in work-based customs, and in countries adopting Monday-first conventions, it is the fifth day of the week. (See “Seven days of the week” for more on the different conventions.)

In most countries with a five-day work week, Friday is the last workday before the weekend and is, therefore, viewed as a cause for celebration or relief. In some offices, employees are allowed to wear less formal attire on Fridays, known as Casual Friday or Dress-Down Friday. Today was a dress-down Friday; I wore jeans and a tee-shirt.


Blurring moments: the days move fast and slow at the same time

clockity-tockThis week has been moving at a very rapid pace. Or so it seems.  My observation of the clock indicates its’ been moving much faster than I anticipated – amidst stops and starts and a roller coaster here and there. Ergo it’s been ‘fast and slow at the same time.’

On the way back from a client meeting yesterday, I began thinking about time and time movement just to give my head a break from work. Yes, this will sound kind of strange, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the present time, according to our frame of references is certainly the only real time ever present. In fact, the present time is what we experience flickering from second to second. It actually encompasses both the past and the future, and our minds seem to drag in-between them.

Thus far this week the clock seems fixated in the fast-forward mode but it feels like it’s crawling to the whistle of Friday afternoon – BLEH! The way I see it, if there is any time dimension that moves, it is purely a psychological one. When time seems blurry or moving quickly, it’s simply a psychological response. We notice it moving quickly when we’re having fun (enjoying ourselves), and when we’re stressed the seconds tick slowly and painfully over the minute hand.

For me when the clock moves fast and slow “at the same time” it’s best I take a break. I’m doing that right now.

Break oneth.


More of the office party countdown: Top 10 not-to-do’s.

nyc62055

We’re not having an office party, but for those who will step into the light of holiday cheer around colleagues, here is my advice:

10. Dress like your a loser:  Company parties mean you put your best foot forward, and for many of you, like your job depends on it. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. But don’t overdress and make your boss look shabby.

9. Loose Lips: Sink a ship and your career fast with a few ill-chosen words. Have an upbeat attitude about the company and employees. Above all else, refrain from the obvious suck up.

8. Using racist, sexist, or other offensive language: “Fool.” If you people turn up the racist channel, move to another dance floor. Or, just excuse yourself and get some fresh air.

7. Hanky-panky: Dipping pens in company ink is inappropriate any time of the year and even more so when you’re in the midst of a party.  Keep your hands and comments to yourself.

6. Poor manners:  If you drink and drive you will be caught! Good manners will not keep you out of jail. Poor manners at the party — shoutin’ out blah-dity-blahs or inappropriate behavior can torpedo your career. Heck, just a lack of manners can chip away at its foundation. Greet people appropriately, introduce your date, and eat properly.

5. Failing to prep your date: Make sure your date follows the rules and has the same goal in mind — maintain your career status! If our date is too flashy or frumpy, you’ll get dinged. Alert your date to the important players and don’t gossip.

4. Mistreating boss’ spouse or partner: Does this need more detail? An invitation to a slow dance is not appropriate.

3. Ignoring upper management: When they exist, they exist.  Don’t approach bosses if at all inebriated.

2. Not showing up: Oooops. Every boss notices an absence. If you plan on being somewhere else – ALERT the boss well in advance.

1. Too much drinkage: This is a classic mistake. Alcohol loosens inhibitions, and is the number one cause of the dreaded ‘Foot in Mouth’ disease. If you feel that you’ve had enough, duck out before you say something stupid. And remember, “buzzed driving is drunk driving. And you will be caught.”

nyc30466



Holiday office parties: the black and white truth. Advice on “what not to do.”

par331423

  • No Shows – Employees who snub the office party may risk seeming pompous and also miss an excellent networking opportunity. A recent survey by Tickle found that 31% of respondents regretted ‘not showing up’ more than drinking too much (20%) or arriving late (18%).
  • Being Clique-y – Holiday parties offers a rare chance to meet employees from other departments and more senior staff in an informal setting. This is a great opportunity to get to know others and make yourself known.
  • After-Party Parties – Carrying on after the ‘official’ party can provide workplace gossip well into next year unless you are careful to continue the celebration with a very close-knit group of colleagues.
  • Arm Candy Dates – Don’t bring a friend unless you know that guests are invited. Then be careful to choose someone who can converse well with co-workers and superiors – not someone who just looks good in evening wear.
  • Not Saying ‘Thank You’ – Be sure to thank the event organizers or – when appropriate – the manager who authorized the party.

Monday-Monday, let’s start all over again.

snow_on_the_smokies

Snow fell nicely this morning and the XM radio oozed Christmas songs like it was December 24th. I listened happily as if it were Christmas morning. Then the reality of Monday stepped on my warm thought bubbles, crushing them into slush and muck. Ok-Ok, the reality of work is better than the reality of no-work. I get it. However, I want to have MORE fun. Period. Life passes so very quickly and if we are not having fun EVERY day then we’re not living. Right-on? Right-on!

When we mix a little fun with the drama of business, our outlook improves. Did I hear an “amen” on the back row?? The Christmas songs of the morning are ready for replays this afternoon and I’m certainly ready for breezy thoughts of spring. Without living the future “today,” I’ll just enjoy the prospects of snow, the Holidays and time inside with the LGE. That combination is nice. Rambling again, but you get the idea.

Mix some fun in with each day and make life mo’ better. Ahh.



According to the Gregorian calendar, November is done.

funny-thanksgiving-turkey-cartoon2

November 30th is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. November 30th, this year, was a travel day for me. Six point two-five hours of travel time. Lots of cars, nasty attitudes, several wrecks, mucho po-po, ample craziness, awful McDonald’s stops, cheaper gas in Arkansas, wet roads, Christmas songs on XM, text messages with the LGE, and time to think about the future. I’m thinking about Spring – or at least warmer temps. Rambling today is fun because it suggests one thing: I need more rest. There are 31 days remaining until the end of the year … let’s use them wisely.



Monday-Monday. Oh boy.

bags_that_look_angry

The crazy start to the week means it’s Monday. “It’s so exciting.” NOT. Some folks obviously didn’t enjoy the weekend. They looked grumpy, sounded even grumpier, and weren’t very pleasant.

For all of us who ‘attempt’ to enjoy our weekends away from work, the shock of grumps come Monday morning is huge jolt to the system. The Monday morning (mourning) stern face of business seems daunting and unapproachable. What’s up with that?

I’ve learned oh-so-much over the last year and much of it comes from observation. One observation stands out more than any other: folks with a stern approach to business are not very happy within themselves.

May I offer a suggestion? More relaxation over the weekend and encouragement come Monday. Encourage everyone, not just those whom you ‘value.’ Encourage everyone.

Smile on.


Music is what feelings sound like.

For 14 days I was immersed in Hawaiian music. Fourteen days. It’s been difficult, until today, to re-engage with the island sound because of the recency of being there.

Today I turned it back on and instantly the waves were pounding outside, the spray was in the air and the LGE was sitting beside me smiling about how much she loved the whole experience. I decided today that I will continue to play the music I love. Although, I realize at home it might become passe for those around me so I’ll limit the exposure.

Sure enough the island tunes will be core to my to-and-from work personal DJ se-lec-tion (pronounced, “sa lex she’on”). And likely what I will enjoy at the office each day. Heck, I can tune into the island radio stations by what of the net any time (yessur). Knowing we’ll soon return to Hawai‘i makes it even sweeter.

Aia no i ka mea e mele ana. (Let the singer select the song).
Pronounced: “Ayeay noh e ka mahay ah maylay aynay.”

play-that-music


When your day is done. Do you think about it? Do you live in the moment? Or do you think about tomorrow? Ponder those thoughts and I’ll get back to you.

If you are still talking
about what you
did yesterday,
you haven’t done
much today.

~Author Unknown


In the landscape of life, we often think about the what if.

To accomplish great things,
we must not only act,
but also dream;
not only plan, but also believe.


Nature is authentic and real; a beautiful reminder that we do the same.

Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
without her diadem.

Emily Dickinson


Aloha from a warm sunset.

Keep your sense of proportion by regularly,
preferably daily, visiting the natural world.

˜ Catilin Matthews



Live in the moment. Dream a little dream. Know the difference.

Earlier this week someone asked me about “living in the moment” and what that meant. I responded by saying it’s not something that you think about, it’s something that you experience. It’s active – it’s participative – and it’s all about the moment of now, and now, and now – and so on.

Living in the future is desperate attempt to improve happiness now, and truly is self-defeating. Living the future is more than talking about vacation plans, for example, it’s attempting to “live” the vacation prior to its start. People who live in the future offer up things like – – “now that we have a place to stay on our vacation, it’s more real for me.” BLEH!

Because our minds are full of the “past,” we automatically draw from our mentally database and use the data as an input tool to project assumptive thoughts and feelings into the future without true awareness nor the realization of its impact. For most people, living in the future and dreaming are exactly the same. I’ve heard people use those phrases interchangeably as if the meanings are identical. However, those active, mental directives are vastly different.

Living in the future is a method by which we avoid living in the now. We avoid life’s present moments because we’re much more interested in what’s to come. Rather than enjoy the song on the XM radio station “now,” we’re much more interested in taking a mental leap in our mind’s eye to some future event that feels better. Living in the future is a fast-forward mental leap into an event that is more exciting, glamorous, gilded, mystic or otherwise “better” than what’s happening around us at that exact moment. People who live in the future are afraid that what they have “in the now” is somehow less than acceptable and certainly not what others are doing, living nor enjoying.

Sadly it’s also symptomatic of people who view material things as definitive marks of happiness … as if material possessions are creators of happiness. These are the same folks who suggest that if you don’t like “now” then mentally conjure up “the next best thought” (which means tomorrow’s movie, next week’s lunch date, the vacation next year, etc.). On contrary, that philosophy and mental guidepost serves us better when we’re dealing with life’s troubles for extended periods of time and are seeking a safe haven. During extended periods of mental anxiety, “what’s the next best thought” serves as a timeout for minds and bodies. But, it’s not an excuse to leap into next week. When we do we’ve escaped the “now” and what it might be teaching us. It is not the next best mental technique to actively enjoy life in the moment.

So – how is dreaming and living the future different? Simply this: living in the future is a feeble attempt to improve life ‘in the moment’ – it’s escapism. Dreaming is pondering the “what if” without regard for its actuality. It’s aspirational yet abstract. The net-net: it’s visionary, not “itinerary.”

Dream on.


PLENTY of BNC’s but few (if any) GNC’s.

The events of a typical day can often overwhelm us. Especially if those events create havoc with a routine or our “to-do” list. Especially if it occurs at home and work – all in the same day. Laughingly, I scoffed at the inconveniences today … and “issues” which seemed “numerous. All the while I attempted to “stay in the moment” – I attempted to “enjoy the seconds as they ticked.” Again, I scoffed.

The bike trainer broke – first thing – so no early ride. Issues with banner ads were either vertical or horizontal. Folks got pushy, peps weren’t happy, comrades were jittery, external types were loud and confrontive. The AC is now out of coolant. These events – separately – might be enough to derail a day. In combination – whew.

What did these events ‘force’ me to do? Simply this — think positively and remember the good about today.

Thus the BNC and GNC reference.

Media outlets abound. Right? Count the number of cable channels that we don’t watch. Media leverages all the news that’s news to print, broadcast or shout out. Right? Look at the massive number of BNC’s (bad-news channels).

Comparatively speaking, the GNC’s (good-news channels) are few and if I squint, I might see one — maybe — I’m not sure.

Who the hell would buy ads on the GNC? Outside a church looking to recruit new members, what company would buy air time on a GNC? Ok. I can think of a few. But the reality of watching a GNC in my lifetime is not plausible. NO question. Think about it – if a media outlet reported nothing but “good news,” who would watch? Eliminate gore (blood or Mr. Gore), sex, violence, hurricanes, death, shootings, bombings, earthquakes, etc. and what do you have?

What if we focus on nothing but “what went right today?!” Umm, I took time out to remember what went right today.

1. I was able to get out of bed without help – and I worked out for an hour. That felt good
2. My food was fresh and I enjoyed the nourishment.
3. My car started and it carried me to work – on time.
4. The coffee was tasty – and it helped me wake up.
5. The computer worked without a glitch.
6. My intern team worked like pro’s – loading a website in less than (!) 2 hours.
7. The lunch I made (salad) was excellent – and it made my stomach stop rumbling.
8. My team helped produce the needed creative materials for our clients – and it was on time.
9. The bank drafted a cashiers check – at no charge.
10. My car started and ran perfectly.
11. The bike shop switched my wheels and helped me prepare for my race tomorrow – at no charge.
12. The BGE bought dinner, picked up dinner, and hauled herself to my house then back to her own — without a single complaint. She smiled and said, “no problem.”
13. The beer was cold and tasty (the first one anyway – I’ll comment on #2 shortly).
14. My computer is still working – and I’m happy that this blog is allowing me to ‘vent’ and grow as a person.
15. The BGE’s house has working AC (yeah) – and I’m glad my sleep will be chilly and ‘normal.’

Nuf said. The good news outweighed the bad news. In life, that’s the case. Except we don’t have folks who want to report the good news … the things that went ‘right’ today. When you stay in the moment, the good ones outweigh the bad ‘un’s.

I’ll go for now – my list of good things is growing.


Change direction by changing the thought. The results can be eye opening. DISCLAIMER: Results may vary.

The world we have created is a product
of our thinking; it cannot be changed
without changing our thinking.

~Albert Einstein


What you think about most is what you become … or what you’ll achieve.

The human mind is much like a farmer’s land. The land gives the farmer a choice. He may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care what is planted. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision. The mind, like the land, will return what you plant, but it doesn’t care what you plant. If the farmer plants two seeds — one a seed of corn, the other nightshade, a deadly poison, waters and takes care of the land, what will happen?

Remember, the land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants — one corn, one poison. The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn’t care what we plant … success … or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal … or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.

The problem is that our mind comes as standard equipment at birth. It’s free. And things that are given to us for nothing, we place little value on. Things that we pay money for, we value.

The paradox is that exactly the reverse is true. Everything that’s really worthwhile in life came to us free — our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our intelligence, our love of family and children and friends and country. All these priceless possessions are free.

But the things that cost us money are actually very cheap and can be replaced at any time. A good man can be completely wiped out and make another fortune. He can do that several times. Even if our home burns down, we can rebuild it. But the things we got for nothing, we can never replace.

Our mind can do any kind of job we assign to it, but generally speaking, we use it for little jobs instead of big ones. So decide now. What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make in your entire life.


Let’s talk about critical. Ok? Listen up hypocrites.

Herein is the “type” of advertising I work on for the majority of my working day. In fact, “cause-related marketing” is the genre of “propaganda” I value most.

It’s Thursday, a good day to advertise. A TERRIFIC day for free speech.


Edumacation – yes, that’s right Edu-macation.

“Education is the best provision for old age.”

Aristotle


What if you cannot win. Should you continue competing? What if you compete and don’t ever win. Is it worth it?

I’m often asked the question (after a road race or a time trial), “did you win?”

My typical answer is “no, I accomplished my goal.” The response to such a question is not expected and it usually creates a whimsical look on the face of the person asking the question … and thus, more questions. Answering with merely a “no” opens a door which requires explanation or what I call justification. In general, people are interested in what you won, and not much else. Placing in the top 10 isn’t spectacular; placing mid-field is considered failure … never mind the journey itself!

No one who competes in any type of sporting activity is exempt from the pain of defeat. The acceptance of being defeated, while difficult to stomach at times, teaches us how to lose with grace. I’ve learned over time that taking success and failure lightly – without strongly identifying with either – allows me to maintain a delicate mental balance. After all, it’s about having fun not the win nor the loss. For me, focusing on winning hinders my performance. I’d rather focus on the journey of getting there, competing and readying again. This is very similar to the walk of life. We either enjoy the journey or we miss out on a lot of fun.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I enjoy the feeling of placing in the top 10 or an outright 1st, but that’s not what drives my preparation and participation. I love competing and winning in my own way. For me, accomplishing my goals feel like a win.

Competing at something other than work is important because it builds character. The sense of fair play is strengthened, and the value of preparation is greatly appreciated. Competing helps build mental tenacity, will power, transparency, discipline and the ability to handle greater amounts of stress. These traits, over time, become habits and ultimately build character.

For the hoards of people who ask the “did you win” question I suggest that you get off the sofa, move your happy ass a little faster and compete in something. Feel the pain, test your mental fortitude, and when you don’t finish first – give up. After all, the folks who typically ask the “did you win” question are the same folks who feel like they have to compete for parking spaces or a lane in traffic somewhere.

Nuf said, I shall continue to Ride On.


Help those who need help. Help yourself by helping others.

Success has nothing to do with what you gain in
life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.

danny thomas


Yesterday is gone. What did you do? What can you talk about?

I’m inspired to do a lot every day. Mostly work – working out – helping my student interns – and a bunch of other stuff. Now that yesterday is over, what did you do that’s worth talking about? Good question. If it’s just work related – then you didn’t do enough. If it’s just about working out – then you were too selfish. Did you help someone? Specifically – did you help someone without regard to its impact on your wallet? Funny, that eliminates work colleagues and clients (or prospects). If you have children then you’re blessed — what a golden opportunity to contribute to “life.”

In my work world, I’m privileged to know a group of interns who need my help. Yet, it doesn’t put one dime in my pocket. In fact, it clearly detracts from growing the business I manage. Why do I help them? Because when my career changes from the “agency” business to something else, I want to look back and ‘know’ it was for a higher purpose.

Now that it’s all over, what did you really
do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?

Coleman Cox


Why I ride: Others do not.

Ever ponder what happened to our overall commitment to physical fitness? I do. There have been so many times in my life where I felt like a backslider – a lazy mo-fo who wasn’t careful about consumption. Within the last three years I’ve given my life to a crazy pastime called cycling.


I spend countless hours during the winter months riding and working out at the gym to improve my fitness level – and at a minimum maintain what I’ve built. Many a day I ponder, “why am I doing this? All my friends are out doing fun things, soaking up adventure in a 1,000 ways.”  Then my brain snaps into the future with the clear picture of what a race might be like when I’m unprepared, physically unfit or worse – I’m out of shape. Period.

I ride because so many “others” do not. I ride because it’s all about the bike. About seeing the world from something other than a TV or a car – or the internet. I suggest that we continue riding on.


Why I ride. Why not?!

Riding is fundamental to affirming our freedom as humans. Think about it: as a kid a bicycle ride was the ultimate ‘freedom’ … it was more freeing than anything else we experienced. It allowed us to venture well beyond the yard, the neighborhood, the streets most familiar and certainly the boundaries we established in our minds as “that’s a long way off.” I ride. Why not.


Why I ride. Because I can.

I recently visited family and the topic of why I ride came up in conversation. Naturally I responded with, “because I can.” The counter response was surprising — and included the words, “you’ll stop in a few years.” The follow-up response will be found here. I ride because I can. I ride because people like Oscar Pistorius would if they could. IN fact, I’ve been in several races with guys who have a carbon fiber leg … just like Oscar Pistorius. Ride. on.


Joe Martin Stage Race: Pro WOMEN – atop Mount Gaylor


May Day – May Day.

May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to any of several public holidays. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement. As a day of celebration, however, the holiday has ancient origins and can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times. Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that it falls approximately halfway between a solstice and an equinox.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, as in the Celtic celebration of Beltane, and the Walpurgis Night of the Germanic countries. Many pre-Christian indigenous celebrations were eventually banned or Christianized during the process of Christianization in Europe. As a result, a more secular version of the holiday continued to be observed in the schools and churches of Europe well into the 20th century. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May. Today various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on 1 May.

The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring (season), May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer. In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.


Tour de Ephrata – April 26, 2008: inside the peloton.

The Amish countryside near Myerstown gave a few hundred racers the opportunity to test their ability to push, recover, and push even harder. The weather in the early part of the day was sunny and clear. Within hours however the skies clouded up and the temperature dropped significantly.

Let’s see how this short and painful road race unfolded.

Accustomed to jumping from the get-go – that’s exactly what I did. It was met with frowns and some odd looks. By the first turn the pace heated up. I held a line and got pushed aside. I touched a guy on the hip and it offered up some words that didn’t feel right. He ended his sentence with “fuck you.” Several of his teammates from the “Spinners” did more of the same – three of which pushed me out of the pace line. I suspect my jersey was foreign to them and they had no intentions of allowing me to stay in the pace line. Within the next mile the field jumped three times and five guys were off the front.

Not knowing anyone in the race, I would assume the few guys that launched an attack were actually elite riders who were Pros or CAT1’s.  They were away – and with a strong and steady headwind for half of the course, we weren’t going to catch them unless the group worked. Clearly no one wanted to work. However, the pace and the movement on course felt more like a crit than a road race. How I wished we had a real hill to climb – to weed out some of the followers unwilling to work.

The smell of fertilizer and chicken houses (grow-out houses) was all around us … it was strong. We were in the middle of farming country with many growers laying down fertilizer most of day. I stayed near the front and worked – not with “bridging the gap” in mind – with the hopeful attitude that a few of use might make a break. No luck. Not on any lap.

The last leg of the race had us fighting a terrific cross wind and it meant that most riders were in the gutter with nothing to do but push.

The “sprint” started sooner than expected, and with about 500 meters the group strung out. I went into my best TT position and pushed. I passed six guys and crossed the line 17th. Glad to be “DONE.”

Afterward I spoke with Ellen Dorsey, UCI Commissaire about the interaction on-course. Funny, we both agreed that the rider’s sponsors wouldn’t appreciate showcasing a “tude” while racing. Moving onward – yes.

SUMMARY: 35 mile circuit race – average speed unknown (computer didn’t track it) – average heart rate 161 (whew) – new max heart rate at 191. 17th place in a field of 62 riders.


Tour de Virginia – en route to Tour de Ephrata.

Ok then. I left on time and had an open road with lots of po-po in the way. No less than 6 before I left town. My happy ass is en route to Ephrata, Pennsylvania — near Lancaster, PA. My pal Jojo and I stopped along the way to pick up some of his friends.

(L to R: Sneaky, Red, CrossEye, Slim, and Popeye)

The attached photo depicts the mod-squad – some real punks if you ask me. Thank goodness they sat in the trunk and were a bunch of funky monkies. Then, when we got to the hotel room — Mr. Bigshot — Jojo — was the first one to call for a beer! Showing off. (He puked about 2AM!).

Alright. The road is calling and I’ve got a buck-twenty-five in the morning. I’ll catch up on the photos and travel talk later. Best get the mod-squad up and fed. peace.


Ames’ New Anthem.

PUSH ME

(push-to-play)



The is no FINISH line in life: so get to work.

I am amazed at the ability of those around me – so much talent, knowledge and yet, a lack of drive. In my work-life, I observe lots of hope but not near enough drive, and I certainly witness it in student performance. What’s up with that? Anyone know??? I realize that each of us are “lazy” in some way. Occasionally, and I mean rarely, living a day of life in a “lazy fashion” can be a good thing. Some folks, however, are just plain lazy the majority of their time. Or, they are “all about lists: and “talking about” what they did rather than just gettin’ shit done. Or even worse, they make a big push for a few days then revert back to what they used to do (reminds me of people who attempt to go on a diet but stick with it for the month of January).

Me? Well, I’m lazy. Never mind the fact that I have two careers, I train 20 hours per week for cycling, and have a nice home that I maintain. I have a girlfriend and I befriend several people around me.

Truly I’m lazy. I have spare time. In that spare time I could: learn to speak another language, learn to read another language, take online computer courses to improve my knowledge of the internet, work on improving my home, meditate, help those less fortunate, and the list is so long I need not ‘go there’ in this post. My point – EVERYDAY I make an effort to do, go, enjoy, get ahead, work, and constantly visualize “hope” but I believe I can and should do more!

I owe the philosophy or attitude to my mom. Her career path and the success she’s enjoyed is what I follow. My mom is the person who influenced my dual career path. (Three years ago I had three revenue streams from three separate paying positions: advertising, teaching at UTK and teaching on the race track). She taught me to work hard, go further, do more, and do more. It was not a “talking lesson” – it was a lesson I learned through observation. There aren’t too many people I know that truly have been-there, done-that. She has done-that. And continues to do more.

Life deals each us a number bumps, laughs, opportunities, failures, etc. Each of these are accompanied with a life-lesson. Some are fun and memorable – others are just memorable. Many of life’s lessons relate to how we prepare or don’t prepare for (fill in the blank). We revert to the lazy side (not the dark side) of our personalities and wonder … “why did this occur? why did this or that happen? WHY ME?!” I have fleeting thoughts like that on occasion but those are quickly replaced with, “this will NOT do me in – it may not be something I like but it will NOT do me in!”

Every second counts. Every second. Hard work and a little hope are keys to making this thing we call life – more enjoyable. For me I’m going to use all of those seconds I’ve been alloted – to move the ball forward. Heck, it’s time I learned another language. Hawaiian is “in” this year – guess I had best get a tutor and some study material.

For now, Aloha.


People persuading People to Pause and Ponder: Probable? Possible? Practical? Pushy? Pesky? Perturbed?

Politically correct? Whatever – as long as it was persuasive the whole class was happy. At least I was happy. Why? Once again, COM240 performed more like veterans of the speaking world than college students with a few speeches under their belts. I’m continually amazed at the performance. And also at the excuses some students offer up for not having their work completed on time. Funny, the majority of the class ‘gets it’ and just a couple are coasting. I’m thankful that today’s photos are of those who truly get it.

Mr. Daniel Dale reminding us that students can co-exists in the dorms and the benefits are highly positive. Excellent speech – and well-delivered.

Ms. Caitlin Lindstrom reminding us that student tickets will be $15 starting this fall. WTF! And, we had best get ready for “financial contributors” to be seated along side student …. it’s coming. Well done!

Mr. Bristow reminding us that freedom of assembly and demonstration doesn’t give groups or people or causes the rights to invade, interrupt, or harass. Well done.

Ms. Lorrin Howard stating the truth: move-out day rules are not in favor of the students. The rules favor empty spaces. Nicely done – excellent!

Mr. Huffaker shared his views of second-hand smoke and suggested a smoke free campus. His presentation was not the butt of any joke – it was factual and persuasive. Well done.


Camille Cropped.

One of my students wanted to be “cropped” or “shopped” (as in re-touched out or modified). I elected to crop as the time allotment for such activities isn’t available. Let’s just remember, life is life and what you see is what you are – or are not. We may not enjoy all aspects of life – or all views of ourselves as people. What really matters is how you feel inside your skin. Nothing more matters. The world’s reality isn’t our true reality. Remember: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Peace


Upstate Race Weekend: Greenville, South Carolina. Inside the Peloton.

The race series going on in Greenville, South Carolina always produces unexpected turns, weather, starts and outcomes. Today was no exception.

What seemed like a quick-trip to the race course turned into an “I’m lost and I best ask for directions.” Never mind the fact that I’ve been to the course at least 8 times. Well then, maybe the racing gods had something in mind when I inadvertently took a wrong turn.

I arrived with just 30 minutes to warm up, but the weather had a mind of its own – as in Mother Nature. She unleashed lightening, thunder and heavy rain. Had I been there “on time” I would have been soaked. The delay in arrival was a blessing – yay. After registering – in MASTERS 45+ – I went back to the car and covered my seat with a plastic bag to keep it dry. I changed inside the car — all the while with the seat heater set to max. The rain was pushing some colder temps into the area.

Alright then.

I saddled up and pedaled over to the lead official and was told that we had a ’30 minute delay.’ With a little time on my hands, I headed up the road into the 20mph+ wind and did my pre-race gig: warm-up.

The race was ‘supposed’ to start at 11:10, but the additional 30 minutes meant the start would be around 11:40. At 11:35 I returned to the start/finish line and overheard the starter give the one minute warning. WTF? I needed a bio-break and wanted to toss the rain jacket — so I whipped my bike over to the car and did both. I heard “go” and damn – when I shifted to “go” my chain dropped. This unto itself isn’t a big deal, but at the start of the race – not-so-good. After a short chase I caught the train and was on the back of the peloton.

Looking around I noticed that some young folks were in the group. “Umm?” I asked a guy next to me (who looked to be 20 years old) did he ride in the MASTERS group very often. His reply was funny, “man, you’re in the CAT3’s, you’d best get to chasing – the MASTERS group left 5 minutes before us.”

The thought bubble above my head was a huge: WTF!

I was in the wrong group! Again, WTF!. My number was in the sequence of the CAT3’s but I registered as a MASTERS 45+. Go figure. My mind was in turmoil … I stared ahead at the wet roads and I knew my day was over. By that I mean, I felt as if I would be DQ’d because I was in the wrong group. As such I wouldn’t’ place with the 3’s — and thus, the Saturday race would be a bust. Again, WTF!

After the first lap, I elected to make the workout a hard one. Why not – today’s plan called for a long race at max intensity. Midway through the second lap I left the group and rode ahead and no one followed. I tucked into my TT position and moved along at about 21 or 22 …. into a 20mph headwind. Nearing the start area four guys bridged up to me and I jump in with them … moving as efficiently as possible. Luck was such that the rest of the peloton jumped hard and was coming up fast. When we grouped, near the first turn, we bunched and several guys pushed hard into the corner (which was wet – with standing water – slippery-slip-slip). One rider went down in front of me – another locked up his breaks and popped a tire (it sounded like a loud firecracker going off).

No one jumped (as is norm when a crash occurs) but the field pushed hard. I noticed the peloton was smaller (we dropped some folks), and with fewer riders it was evident that the average age might have been 25. Then at the top of the climb I went to the front and pushed again. And again. Especially when we cut into that nasty headwind.

The last two laps were without fanfare. Jumps, chasing, slowing down to 15mph, more jumps, and then a strong tailwind. 13 riders were left. And I was one of them.

The last stretch of road (of the last lap) was fast – we cruised at 31, 32 – then 33mph. A guy jumped and left us and my response was nothing more than a TT position big-gear-push. More riders came up and jumped. I waited. In the field sprint I was 8th. Two riders had gotten away – and that meant 10th place.

I spoke with the official afterward and there was a mix up with my number – so they classified me with the 3’s.

RECAP: 5 miles of warm-up. 55mile race. 8 miles of cool-down. Average HR 138 – maxed twice. Average speed 23.1 – Placed 10th. Average age 24. Next age (close to me) was 31.

More from the peloton tomorrow.


Vote. Or Vote for a No-Vote. Either way – you elect something or someone.

The last of the group presentations focused on “voting.” A burr under my saddle because I’ve got major issues with voting in general. Hanging chads, sneaky candidates, prostitute rings, mismanaging money, taking SUPER-long breaks from sessions, greasing PAC leaders’ vacation plans, etc. etc.

Putting those biased thoughts aside, I opened up to the idea of voting – again. Sorta like the second strike by MLB (I gave up on them and haven’t gone back to watching). Ok-Ok.

Much like the prior three groups – this was an excellent presentation. It was informational, newsy, and persuasive. I felt as if the team of students really dug in and worked hard to convince all of us (i.e., me) to vote. The call to action was a voter registration card! Go figure.

My vote will be cast — in the next presidential election. No worries. And to COM240 – great work!


Between you and them. I’m gonna win.

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People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and the Universe.
It was never between you and them anyway.


Springfield, Tennessee Opens Ski Resort. Details at 11:00

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In the Middle Tennessee metropolis of Springfield – near West Sandy, a new ski resort opened on Saturday. At my dad’s house. Snow was blowing and naturally the locals tested their equipment to ensure the slopes were ready. Unfortunately with 3″ of base, it was difficult to get traction in the turns. It was noted that school was closed – but then again it was Saturday. Go figure. Even WalMart was open and selling milk like gasoline – expensively. When is spring going to spring? In Springfield it was winter time on Saturday. I suspect the fish were bitin’ today – since the temps soared to – oh – 64. Spring best get here — soon.

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Hawaii – ahhh. Sore legs and such.

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Before my day unfolds, isn’t that a beautiful view?! What would we do if that were the view each day? What if. I’ll have lots more of these the day I start living there – physically – not just mentally. Now let’s get on with it. 

Today was an interesting day. I had no idea of how I’d get it “all” done but I did. First, the decal for the license plate. CHECK. Then I pitted for some fuel. CHECK. With a nice morning at the office, I went to Free Service Tire and had my tires balanced. CHECK. One of my closest friends picked me up at FST and I bought her some lunch at Gourmet Market. CHECK. Well-well, now isn’t that nice. Meetings, more meetings and getting the interns ready for our Tuesday client meeting. Well, we met and met … and met some more. Meetingful as I love to say (HA@!). Near the end of the day, I talked with an intern to say, “I’ll be at the pool next Monday to learn flip turns.”

I came home – I cleaned the bath, hand scrubbed the floor, washed some clothes, cleaned the car, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the kitchen floor by hand and helped make dinner. Umm. I prefer working out – at least the working is out.

Now the Hawai’i part. Just a photo for our eyes. A way to connect with the ocean … a source of life … and certainly a source of happiness for many, many people. Maluhia.


Hawai’i lava – and beautiful flowers

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Hawai’i is so diverse … its culture, scenery, landscapes and weather … all of which are unique. So much so that you may never want to leave. Ergo the reason that some folks visit and never leave.

When you do visit, you’ll know what I mean. I’ve been to Hawai’i four times and each time the reasons to stay are greater than the reasons to return to the mainland. Other than a mortgage and some other financial commitments – a career – a teaching career – a BGE and proximity to family (whoa, I thought it was a small list!), I’d just stay. After all, when you live on Hawai’i more of your family looks for and then finds a real reason to visit you!

Today the flower is part of the Big Island’s landscape – proving that where new earth is created – so is new life. Again – Aloha.


Papaya, Guava, Pineapple. More Juicy-Juice – and just add rum.

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Think healthy and my favorite drink comes to mind: Hawai’i Sunrise. Simple, tasty, and healthy. It’s been a few months since I’ve crafted a batch of my favorite juicy-juice. I’ll work on mixing a full bottle for consumption during the Daytona 500. Best add rum to give it a kick –

1 Papaya (peeled, seeds removed and cut into spears)

1 Guava (skin removed and peeled)

1 Pineapple (top, skin removed, cut into spears)

If drinking at night – add clear rum, 1 oz per drink

This mix is a smooth blend to give you the feeling of island life, and with a little slack key guitar, the feeling you’re on Hawai’i proper.

Aloha!

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Orbea: my RR bike – by David Avery

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The bike pictured here is a Spanish-made Orbea that I ride just about everyday. In the configuration seen herein, it weighs just 15.6lbs. That doesn’t include the water bottles but the total weight does include the pedals, cyclometer, and heart rate monitor. Pretty light – and very stiff. It’s outfitted with Campagnolo Super Record and Reynolds DV46 wheels. This is “Tour issue” equipment. Even the bottle cages are made of carbon – as is the handlebar, the stem, the brake levers, the crank arms and seat post. LIGHT – light – LIGHT.

Later this year I’m starting a project to build a sub-14lb bike. Yes, less than 14lbs. Roll on.


Knit or purl, that is the question – here or Hawaii

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Knit > a. trans. To tie in or with a knot; to tie, fasten, bind, attach, join, by or as by knotting. With cogn. obj. to knit a knot. arch. and dial. Dating back to c1000 (!) – many balls of yarn ago. 2. trans. {dag}a. To knot string in open meshes so as to form (a net); to net. Obs. Daing to 1290.

Ok – knit a stitch or purl something – it’s timeless and important.

Thank goodness for my new hats.


Another sunset … another Friday

one-sunset-1-11-08.jpg What a week. I feel exhausted from all of the highs, lows and no-shows. And somehow lifted by the fact that the sunset was really beautiful today. Reminding me – this too shall pass.

Peace.

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9949 10708 SUNSET

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That’s about all I want to say regarding today. The sunset was lovely, seeing the BGE was terrific and I’m glad I’m healthy.

The list of reasons why I could be unhappy, sad or even depressed are many. I’ll pass on sharing them. All of the “no’s” came that today suggest one thing- they came all at once!

This is the very time I sit back enjoying a Sam Adams and contemplate a little Aloha.

Peace.


brisky icey

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Yep, it was cold yesterday morning. However, with a 1/2 day workday coming, I had to get my happy (not) ass out of bed and get going. I started off with a 1.5 weight workout prior to the ride. In addition to the ride, I had a few other Saturday morning tasks to complete. Once again I almost turned around before I started. The neighborhood bully-dog came at me while traveling up the street. Hell, I wasn’t three driveways from home!

I made a left turn and a punk kid ran a stop sign without even looking. I elected to slow down and give the car the right of way (smart thinking). As he passed I shared my enthusiasm for his driving expertise. As loud as I could. So loud his passenger (what looked to be his little brother) heard me. After another four dogs tagged along “wanting to play” – I wasn’t in any mood to ‘play.’ I don’t mind the doggies who have a little run behind me or beside me and bark some … no worries. But when they lower their head and flap those ears back, I would rather get off my bike and walk. This added up to enough crap and I was ready to call it quits-for-the-day. On my way home, I stopped long enough to capture the photo of the day on River Road. I like winter but I’m ready for spring.


“…email me…

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… and I’ll get back with you.” When I hear this message, I recognize what’s up: potential for disaster.

And it’s getting bad for all of us in the business world. What’s up? When a sender encodes a message it has a meaning to that person(s). Then we send it – the receiver decodes the message and based on their frame of mind – they interpret the message. I envision big gaps between “intention” and “interpretation.” The fact is, email has lulled us into a world where we fill “connected” and happy that we are communicating so quickly.

Some people use email so they don’t have to deal with a topic nor a person. Umm. That’s interesting. Email is the chicken-shit way out of telling someone the facts. We see it as a method of speeding along the message process and in turn give up the personable connection that voice and voice/face deliver. What we’re doing is minimizing personal accountability. Face-to-face – or connected by phone, we’re more likely to tackle issues, interpret messages more clearly and indeed (the angels pipe in here), connect.

Recently a long time friend, now the lead at a company we’re about to work with, sent me an email that I misunderstood. Naturally, I wrote back and the spiral of doom continued from there. When the last email rang up with, “the worst case scenario is that we’ll be good friends and help you find another vendor …” – I punched the buttons on the phone faster than you can say “email me.”

Even in my office I’ve noticed that account managers are sending creative work to clients and then corresponding with those clients via email as thought they were discussing something benign like pencil production. Is that appropriate? NOPE. How often do we see minor comments interpreted as curt or rude?

Even more – how often do we weigh in on those emails with more crap only to dig the hole deeper. I for one believe we need to pick up the phone – or better yet – get our happy asses up and out of the office — then go visit the person with whom we’re communicating. Problem solved.

Face-time is underrated and I believe in 2008 there will be mega-more face-time among my colleagues. Even if it’s just to talk about email.