Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Having A Dog's Holiday?

Now this really took some work. You've got to appreciate the commitment.

Now get out there and do your Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving - A little bit of History

Have you ever wondered when and how the Thanksgiving Holiday came to be in the United States?

Here's a bit of the history:

Have you forgotten about this famous Linclon Proclamation?

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

For the source of this document, follow this link: ThanksgivingProclamation;

And here's more......

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Once Bitten.... Halloween is Coming!

I can't believe it's been almost two months since my last post. I've been fighting off my personal demons and trying to resist the temptation to blog but to no avail.....

So here I am, posting again. Big surprise huh?

As every true Blogger knows, "Once you are truly bitten by the Blog Bug, you're doomed."

No matter what you do, your life is forever changed. Both meaningful and insignificant life events are now somehow twisted and seen through the lens of a blog post.

And so it goes......

I was channel surfing the other day and passed through an old 80's movie - Once Bitten- featuring the multi-talented Jim Carrey. I'd forgotten how truly talented he is/was.

Did you notice the part where Jim Carrey plays his leg like a guitar? Don't try that at home!

This movie was filmed around 1985.

By the way, I'd also forgotten how sexy Lauren Hutton looked on the big screen.

I still remember her great role in American Gigolo

Anyway, since it's the Halloween weekend, I thought sharing some ghoulish humor might be a nice segway back into my blogging. It's also a nice place to eye some good Halloween costume ideas. Look in the crowd, there just might be something there for you.

Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Creative Card Tricks!

You look like you could use a break from the grind!

Watch this guy....

James Galea at The 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala for Oxfam Australia.

He's good!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lady Gaga speaks on "Creative Energy"

If you google "Creative Energy" you'll be led to a variety of sites. And if you follow the links from there, one link will take you to the "premier Hot Spring Spa and Avalon Stove dealer for the entire San Francisco Bay Area!" Another will lead you an advertising, marketing, and public relations firm. Still another takes you to the "creator of the most energy efficient Roman shade."

But if you Google Lady Gaga about Creative Energy .....

(Don't you just love the way that sounds?)

You get an entirely different answer. Just ask Vanity Fair!

Photograph by Nick Knight.

I'd like to point you in the direction of a Vanity Fair interview by Lisa Robinson in which the Lady Gaga discusses the subject of "Creative Energy."

Lady Gaga tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Lisa Robinson that she tries to avoid having sex because she is afraid of depleting her creative energy—“I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they’re going to take my creativity from me through my vagina.”

She also says that she doesn’t trust anybody and doesn’t know if she ever will. Gaga tells Robinson, “I’m perpetually lonely. I’m lonely when I’m in relationships. It’s my condition as an artist.” Regarding men, she says, “I’m drawn to bad romances. And my song [“Bad Romance”] is about whether I go after those [sort of relationships] or if they find me. I’m quite celibate now; I don’t really get time to meet anyone.”
see the entire article: click here

Lady Gaga goes on to discuss her drug use, her appearance at a Yankees game and what she wore to her sister's graduation.

I'm enlightened. And further, I now know the truth behind her song "Bad Romance."

check out the video:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just Imagine....

Imagine one day you're at sea, sailing... sailing ... sailing.... away.

Life is pleasant and peaceful. Picture yourself parked on something like this:

There's lots of activity around you. All the people are laughing and having fun.

The next thing you know you're no longer sailing. In a millisecond, all that you had in front of you has vanished.... You're now holding on frantically to the only thing in sight - a small piece of driftwood; the only remnant of the posh life you left behind you hours ago.

You look around in all directions but there's no one or nothing in sight.

You look to the North.....

Here's your view:

You look to the South, here's what you see:

The East and the West yield similar views.

You focus on the horizon and hope for the best. Your mind starts to make a mental note of the rhythm of the waves as you stare and imagine each speck is not merely a figment of your imagination but actually a ship coming to rescue you from impending doom......

A few days ago, I parked myself in front of the above view for a few hours. Partnered with a good book, some water and shade I felt that I had truly found paradise. I felt so relaxed. Too relaxed if you will.

Never one to be encumbered by routine.... I think I relaxed myself into a state of confusion. I stopped at one point and actually drifted into fantasy. I wondered..... what would it be like to be stranded at sea. Nothing around me for miles. No telephones, traffic, loud music, or television. Not even the simple familiar pattern of speech to occupy my attention. Nothing but the sound of the water and the wind blowing over my head. The pain from the sun baking my exposed skin is interrupted by the occasional relief of a bird flying by and blocking the suns' powerful rays, if only for a second. The monotony is broken only when I stop thinking about the threat from above and focus on the predators below the surface of the water. I realize that the bleeding scrape on my shin is more than just a stinging reminder of the salt water around me but a crimson invitation to deadly creatures in all directions. My fear of what lies beneath the surface of the water takes a second place to the fact that there's no water to drink and no one around to share my misery and desperation. Every minute that passes brings me a flash memory of loved ones, friends, family, and the simple comforts that I've grown accustomed to. I struggle to stay afloat.... my arms and legs tire but I keep kicking and paddling.... never giving up hope!

Yikes... Enough of this nightmare.

Time for some coffee and a muffin!

And back to the good life!

Have a beautiful Day!

Do make the best of it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tequilla Sunrise? or Tequilla Sunset?

Yes, sounds like a great name for a cocktail huh? (giggle)

A glass of wine? A cold beer? A classic martini? Maybe just a cool sip of water........

The choice is yours!

Friday, July 23, 2010

That's not my boat!

You can stop it with the cards, letters, flowers, and emails.....

I just got another email from a "Friend" asking if this was my boat and asking if I'm okay. :)

Interesting story huh? And talk about being in the right place at the right time with your camera ready.

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Diana Nyad - Courageous and Determined!

Wanna hear something inspiring?

"Diana Nyad "

Simply said.... The name is inspiring enough. But here's the story anyway.

In 1979, Diana Nyad stroked her way into the history books by completing the longest swim (men or women) in written history. The path --from the island of Bimini to the Florida shore-- 102.5 miles. Apparently, that incredible record still stands today.

But here's the most inspiring part - 30 years later, Diana will make her second attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida... Yep. non-stop; sharks, sunburn, dehydration, and jelly fish included.
Her first attempt was thwarted by a storm. Here's part of what happened:

41 hours and 49 minutes later, Diana's team was pulling her out of the sea – battered, delirious, ravaged by jellyfish, scarred by the salt water; and only 50 miles from where she had started. That left her almost 60 miles from her intended landing spot see full story

Diana Nyad

In her words talking about her 102.5 mile swim: "I knew that this was going to be my last swim. I was 30 years old and I thought, it's about time I grow up and join the job market. And you know, as an athlete, it's part of the tragedy of sports, is that you have to retire when you're young. Nevertheless, I was swimming 102.5 miles, from the Bahamas to Florida, and it took a long time. It took many, many long hours. But in the end, when I saw the shore, of course, some of the perspective started flooding. But the way to do it is not to think of the big picture. It's to think of stroke by stroke and do it as perfectly as you can."

Now she's at it again.... Watch these videos taken during her 24 hour practice swim:

Impressive... I'm inspired.

How will she do it? Stroke by Stroke!

Wish her luck.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Creative Ideas! SSI Shredding Systems

The other day my paper shredder jammed. I was trying to figure out if I should repair it or buy a new one.

I came across this while surfing the web:

SSI Shredding Systems...

SSI designs, manufactures and supports industrial shredders and size reduction solutions for a wide array of applications from alternative fuels processing to tire shredders.

How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time.

How do you eat a Volkswagon? Watch This!


So if you're looking for a quick way to get rid of some of the extra junk around your house, Maybe you should consider buying one of these gigantic shredders and keeping it in your back yard. Just think, your neighbors will love you!

Who said bigger isn't better?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In My Head?

It's summer, and summer for me means travel ...... travel ..... and then more travel........

Fortunately, I LOVE to travel. I don't like crowded airports very much but that has just been the cost of doing business lately so I've learned to just tolerate the lines and crowded security checkpoints etc., I've re-defined the word patience and embraced the entire concept more dearly.

Alternatively, I've had the chance recently, to jump in the car and do a bit of driving around the "Good Old USA." That has been quite fun indeed. You get a completely different flavor driving through the heartland of America and seeing things at a different pace and up close and personally. I'll certainly cherish my memories from a Truck Stop in northern central California just last week. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many tattoos in one place at one time. But the coffee sure was good! And boy did I have to pee. I can't tell you the things I learned while standing at the urinal in the bathroom and listening to a few truckers. (I'll eventually get around to throwing some photos on the blog from my travels)

Driving on the open road was quite nice. For me, there's something a bit romantic about throwing a few bags in the car, strapping a vehicle to your back, popping in a few tunes and then hitting the open road. I just love the freedom of traveling that way. No schedules, no time crunches, no dead-lines.... It's just you and the road.

Anyway, all this driving got me to thinking about poetry. In particular, a piece by Robert Frost popped into my head and it's been roaming around there for a few days. You ever get a song stuck in your head? No matter what you do, the song keeps spinning around in your brain until finally you threaten to kill yourself and in the interest of self-preservation your brain finds something else to think about. Well that's kind of where I am with the Frost piece. I'm hoping that if I put it down on paper, well in this case - on Blog - I'll be able to move on to something else.

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) as you may know, was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. He is a very popular and frequently-quoted poet. Frost was honored during his lifetime and actually received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

Robert Frost

Here's the poem that's stuck in my head:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Random Stop Signs, Traffic Lights, Bad Drivers, and Accidents!

You may not want to believe your eyes when you view this video!

Initially, I found it pretty painful to watch. Once or twice I scratched my head and wondered if it was possible that the infamous "Jane Turley" was at the wheel during some of these crashes - Silly me, I'm confident that she's a much better driver than most of these people.

Wow... from now on I'll view traffic lights and stop signs quite differently. There's something to be said for order and predictability. Watching this video was vexatious Indeed! Those pedestrians getting pummeled was hard to watch sober! Ouch!

And the "smash up derby" with the folks on bicycles, scooters, and motorcycles will surely induce PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

My recommendation is that you knock back a few of your favorite adult, alcoholic beverages and then watch this video. That way, it might give you a bit of a giggle.

From what I could discover, this Youtube video shows Traffic accidents captured on CCTV in China.

If you're traveling to that part of the world this summer, be careful .... It's dangerous out there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Graeme McDowell delivers a great Father's Day Gift!

In the words of Graeme McDowell,

"Good golf got rewarded, bad golf got punished pretty badly!"

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland pulled out the stops, remained calm, cool, and collected and won the U.S. Open today delivering a great Father's Day gift to his Father who followed along in the audience. Additionally, this is the first time that a European has won the championship since Tony Jacklin won in 1970.

Interestingly, three non-US players; McDowell, Gregory Havret, and Ernie Els finished in the top three spots followed by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Dustin Johnson, who commanded a big lead going into today's final round finished today at 11 over, leaving him well out of the limelight.

It was fun to watch this round but it was a clear reminder how unforgiving some golf courses can be. This round made these champions appear quite mortal.

I was happy to watch it from the comfort of my home and not experience the pain and agony first hand.

Isn't golf great!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lakers Win!

Please bear with me a bit while I bask in victory! I know it's World Cup season and the US Open is going on but remember, we do not have a Pro Football team in Los Angeles so I need to steal a moment whenever I can....

I was lucky enough to catch Game 6 at Staples Center and watch the Lakers dominate the Celtics.

Game 7 was a different story.......

Watching game 7 nearly half a world away with Japanese commentary was a bit different but I am happy with the result. I will say, it was a bit stressful at times as the Lakers fought their way back from a 13 point deficit. My hat is off to Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, and Derek Fisher! They, among others, delivered a world-class performance. Kobe was a bit cold on the offensive front but fortunately, the rest of the team pulled him through!

Congrats to the Lakers and fans!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Original Ultraman!

This week, I'll be traveling to Tokyo, Japan. It will be a short stay but my venue this time will be a lot different than my trips before. I must say, I'm excited about the upcoming change. I wish I could disclose more..... Anyway, while anticipating my upcoming travel, my mind drifted back to a time where life for me was a lot less stressful. A time before oil spills, financial melt downs, consumer recalls, war, and disease.

A time where "Monsters" visited our world and the only thing between us and them was an occasional super hero or "Ultra Warrior."

There have been quite a few "Ultra Warriors" but Eiji Tsuburaya from Tsuburaya Productions, gets credit for creating one of my favorites; the original "Ultraman."

He was a pioneer in special effects who was responsible for bringing Godzilla to life in 1954. The original Ultraman show was preceded by a series called Ultra Q, a black-and-white 28-episode series very much like the original Outer Limits, although some compare it to today's The X-Files or The Twilight Zone.

Check out the book-Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters to learn more.

In case you don't remember the corny "Ultraman" series, here's a clip to remind you and take you back to a time where goofy monsters threatened our existence.

Wait a second.... Did Ultraman tickle that monster? That's sneaky!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bono and U2 cancel tour! Bono has emergency back surgery

Some bad news for fellow U2 fans....

According to CNN, U2 singer Bono has just been discharged from a German hospital where he underwent emergency back surgery. Bono apparently suffered a serious back injury on Friday while preparing for the continuation of the band's US tour. It seems the American shows will be postponed until next year. The group has also canceled an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in England next month.

Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt (is that pronounced "Will Fart"?) had this to say:

"Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor (Joerg Christian) Tonn at Munich's LMU University Hospital on Friday."

Tonn said:
Bono is now "much better" and has regained all movement. "The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation."

Wohlfahrt indicated that eight weeks of rehabilitation is considered a minimum recovery period.

Catch the latest updates on Bono and U2 at http://www.u2.com/.

As best as I can determine, all of the US concert dates have been postponed until 2011.

Who said being a "Rock Star" is easy?

Get well soon Bono!

Just an aside, if I'm ever assigned a doctor named/pronounced "Doctor Will Fart," I suppose I'll just giggle a bit. But don't give me a Doctor named Hurt, Paine, or Dye! I'll be forced to ask for a change!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Traffic, Cell Phones, Fast Cars, and Accidents!

But not necessarily in that order!

If you look at the below photo on the left side you'll see a gentleman standing in the shoulder of the highway! Fortunately, I'm not that guy! Ever have a day when you say, "Wow; better you than me?"

No, I'm not that guy standing in the shoulder of the highway, I'm merely one of the many people impacted by the fender-bender that caused this back up. (Get the pun.. Impacted?) I was safely sitting behind the wheel of my vehicle (and behind my trusty camera) but stuck in traffic on this lovely California freeway.

What you may not be able to make out (unless you zoom in) Is that the guy in the shoulder is talking on his cell phone and staring at what is probably "his" smashed up car.

Now I'm not completely sure.... But

I think this small blue car was on the receiving end of this smash up. Or the "Smashee."

This sporty looking red car.... Probably the "Smasher."

The good news.... No one appeared to be hurt.

(What's wrong with this picture?)

Here's my take on these things.

I hate being stuck in traffic, especially when I'm going somewhere. And guess what? If I'm in the car, I'm usually going somewhere. Los Angeles is known for traffic but honestly, every big city has traffic and if you pick the wrong time of day and the wrong route it will take longer. You might as well plan accordingly.

Cell phones are great! There's so much capability these days packaged into these compact devices. You can pay your bills, take photos, browse the web, listen to music, check and send emails and so much more.... But driving down the freeway at 80 mph is not the time to be texting or looking away from the road. And if you're one of those people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time, you probably shouldn't drive and talk on the telephone at the same time either. Know your limits.

I'm not a big lover of "Fast Cars." Yeah, they look cool and go fast and make lots of noise but where can you drive them? You usually can't enjoy the speed of a fast car because there's too much traffic. If you try to drive them like they were meant to be driven, the cops will pull you over and write you a ticket. Or else, someone pulls in front of you quickly and you become a smasher. I look at cars more for their utility and comfort. Can I carry all of my crap inside of it? Can it get me to where I need to go? Through the snow, ice, mud, hills, mountains and such. Does it have enough leg room? How's the stereo? You know.... things like that.

Accidents- Simply put: I don't like accidents. Especially if someone gets hurt or if it's my fault. Accidents are no fun at all.

Well, that's all I have to say about these things... so be careful out there because someone is driving really fast and talking on their cell phone or texting and it's gonna cause an accident and back up the traffic!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Courageous or Dumb? Running shoes are Bad for you!

Christopher McDougall, the author of the national bestseller, Born To Run has a courageous idea when it comes to running shoes and runners who wear them.

Throw your running shoes in the trash!

Christopher McDougall claims that the entire multi-billion dollar (running shoe) industry "is based on a campaign not of facts, but of fear. Fear that if you don’t buy a $175 sneaker and replace it in three months, you’ll ruin your knees." He claims that humans have evolved in a manner that makes running barefoot better for your muscles and joints and that the technology introduced via the running shoe is actually bad for you and promotes injuries.

Here's a snippet:

Nike, naturally has a different perspective!

Well, clearly this is a tough debate. I haven't read McDougall's book yet but he seems to present a valid argument. But for now, just between us....... I'm keeping my running shoes!

They are super comfortable!

Just Do It!

(Note: no fees were received by me from Nike for making this post - But, I'm receptive to the idea)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Outliers The Story of Success - A promotion

Today, it occurred to me that in the past few weeks I've unintentionally become a huge promoter of Malcolm Gladwell and his books. I've found myself in no less than 4 extensive social and business conversations where his books and the subject matter of his books have been the focal point of discussion. At the end of these discussions, I've felt more like a salesman than ever before. I'm thinking of calling Gladwell and asking for a percentage of his gross sales.

Malcolm Gladwell

Have you read any of his books?

It all started for me when I read the book "Outliers" after a close friend suggested it. He was so jazzed about the book and kept saying.... "This is right up your street." I really wanted to prove him wrong.... (I hate it when he says "right up your street") So I went out and bought the book last Fall. The somewhat steep $27.99 price tag for the hardback copy was slightly mitigated by a 40% discount coupon that I had for a Barnes and Nobel purchase. I'm sure it's in paperback by now or in your local library.

Needless to say, I read the book and found it quite illuminating. The book was fascinating from the start. I was drawn in by Gladwell's analysis of hockey players and birth dates and his discussion of the "Matthew Effect." I held on and enjoyed his writing style as he discussed "The 10,000-hour Rule", The Beatles, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, and others..... I felt the book stalled a bit in the middle and I found myself laboring through the center chapters. I woke up towards the end and felt engaged as he discussed "The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes" and other affable topics. Ultimately, I was a bit surprised at the end of the book as Gladwell introduced another one of his interpretations of "opportunity" and shared a personal story. I won't go too deeply into that idea because I don't want to create a "spoiler effect" for those who haven't read the book yet.

Overall, I enjoyed the book! To be honest, I enjoy talking about it and sharing and discussing the ideas and concepts in the book more than actually reading the book. I received another book by Gladwell, "The Tipping Point" as a gift and I'm over three quarters finished with it. I just ordered "Blink" and as soon as I finish The Tipping Point I'll be jumping directly into "Blink." I'm on a roll.....

Here's a clip from an interview featuring Malcolm Gladwell:

Gladwell's words:

"I'm very anxious that this book not be seen as a self-help book but as a community help book..... What I really want people to do is start thinking about how we as a society can build institutions that provide opportunities to work hard."

If you're thirsty for more Gladwell, click here or on the photo of the "Outliers" book above. It will take you to a link to a video where Gladwell discusses his book in more detail. It's a nice presentation and summary of the book. Gladwell who has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1996, "has written on a wide range of topics, including the science of cool hunting, race and sports, physical genius, the concept of moral hazard and health care, and the difference between puzzles and mysteries..." Clearly I find him interesting to read, but he's very interesting to listen to as well! He strikes me as a "Funky, Nouveaux, Intellect" and I like the way he critically explores Intrepid Ideas. I think I'd enjoy sitting down to a Martini with him one day and talking about ..... Whatever!

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The $35,000 Blog Comment!

Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, .....

No, it's the NBA and they've got a fine for you Dwight Howard!

Say it isn't so!

I'm a little late to the party but let me pile on anyway. I was scrolling through my Blackberry today looking for a distraction from the "Helter Skelter" stock market ride and I rolled across this story about Dwight Howard being fined for a Blog comment.

I had to read the story twice - and I couldn't believe it either time. Yes, the "freakishly big" Dwight Howard, who plays basketball for the Orlando Magic and sometimes doubles as Superman, was fined $35,000 for a comment he made on his own Blog! I guess he's not too big for the NBA to beat up.

Here's part of the comment:

"Ya’ll know that that series against Charlotte drove me crazy. I mean it was almost comical at times how I was getting fouls called on me. There was nothing I could do our there and I felt like I couldn’t even move without getting that whistle blown on me.

I’m not looking to say anything to get myself in trouble with the league, but I just don’t see other star players getting called for fouls the way I get them. No star player in the league is outta games the way I am. I even talked to Pat Ewing about his career and he said he never had foul trouble like what I’m going through.

I gotta say this is the most frustrating stretch of my career. I’ve never been through four games in a row like that. But hey, we won the series and we’re moving on. I’m so so so hoping that things will be different next series against ATL or Milwaukee."

(Follow this link to read all of Dwight's comments on his Blog: click here:)

Wow. I don't quite know what to say about this event. Frankly, I didn't find his comments that offensive.

But get this; this was the second fine on Howard for comments he made on his Blog. Back in November he was fined $15,000 for similar comments he made on his Blog.

Just goes to show you, Blogging can be an expensive habit!

After all of that, here's some light entertainment for your viewing pleasure.

Now watch as Dwight Howard Dunks on a 12 foot rim.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quotable Quotes!

If you've ever been to Paris, perhaps you've strolled by a bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin held in the Musée Rodin. It depicts a man in sober meditation seeming to be engaged in a powerful internal struggle. The piece was originally named The Poet, and it's said that Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy by Dante and The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem.

Rodin made a first small plaster version around 1880. The first large-scale bronze cast was finished in 1902, but not presented to the public until 1904. It became the property of the city of Paris – thanks to a subscription organized by Rodin admirers – and was put in front of the Panthéon in 1906. In 1922, it was moved to the Hôtel Biron, which was transformed into a Rodin Museum.

Unlike any other piece, this work of Rodin seems to epitomize what I consider to be "true intellect." Without question, It stands as an icon of unadulterated deep thinking.

But what exactly is "True Intellect" and what constitutes "Deep Thinking?"

I've recently wondered if there is really any "True Intellect" left in this world.

Until now!

I'm here to tell you that Uncle Jed Clampett (from the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies) is now the "Big Cheese" of thinkers in my book!

Yes, they always raved about Jethro Bodine being the smart one in the family and having a sixth-grade education and all but a few days ago I heard Uncle Jed say something that made me stop in my tracks and take notice. Jethro was in his usual excited state and just about to run off half-cocked to do something destructively stupid when Uncle Jed hit him with the "Quotable Quote" .........

"Now Jethro, Don't Commence A'Swimmin' Until You Hit The Water!"

I tell you, I had to stop what I was doing and sit down and ponder this complex literal masterpiece. Wow, I was stymied! I'm not nearly as quick as good ole Jethro. But after a few minutes of deep intellectual thought myself, I was able to come up with the true meaning of this statement.

Uncle Jed was trying to tell Jethro to "slow down.... Don't put your cart ahead of your horses... Or hold your horses. " In other words, "Don't get ahead of yourself. Timing is everything!"

Cosmic Thinking uncle Jed. I'll be using that phrase a lot in the near future!

Timing Is Everything!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mexico - The Ugly!

The Good The Bad And The Ugly!

I'm sure you're all familiar with the movie "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." Some of you, like me, have seen the movie countless times. It's certainly one of my favorite spaghetti western movies. There's a lot to enjoy. I think the acting is good, the story is well told, and the music score that accompanies the action, is great.

Did you know this?

The main theme to Sergio Leone's film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, was originally composed by Ennio Morricone but a follow-up version by Hugo Montenegro went on to reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent four weeks atop the UK Singles Chart in 1968. It sold over one and a quarter million copies, and was awarded a gold disc!

But I digress....

You didn't come here to read about ancient music or movie history, you want to see and hear about the ugly parts of my Mexico adventure. Don't you?

I'm warning you, it could get a bit scandalous and border on pornographic.
(Now I've got you interested huh?)
But that's my disclaimer, so continue at your own risk!

The ugly story starts like this: "Don't Eat The Worm!"

And it continues in a place they call -Billygan's Island-

Billygan's Island - Cabo San Lucas

Billygan's Island is a Restaurant & Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the sand at Medano beach. It's a lively and fun place and is a big attraction for the young and old alike. And guess what? Happy hour starts at Noon and runs until 7 PM.

Did I mention that it's a popular destination for college kids on Spring Break?

That's when it starts to get ugly!

Too much sun, too much tequila, too much mezcal, too little "drinking" experience = UGLY!

Too Much Worm!

Note: In the United States, the reputation of mezcal suffered from its association with college binges on cheap mass-produced bottles sold with the agave larvae at the bottom. It has not become as popular as tequila in the U.S., because of its smoky flavor. A number of bartenders, especially on the West Coast have been working to make mezcal cocktails, but the liquor’s smoky flavor makes this a challenge. There is one that combines the mezcal with agave nectar, yellow chartreuse, pastis, fresh oregano and lime juice. However, mezcal does not have a signature drink such as the margarita for tequila.

Oh well,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mexico - The Bad!

Okay, some of you - namely Dickster1961 and MickisMorsels - called me out on the "Bad" Mexico post. To be fair, you both make a strong case. Yes, it's hard to complain about some things in life but trust me, when I put my whining hat on, I can go with the best of them. But thanks in part to you two, I'll try to be a little realistic! (grin) as I share the "Bad" parts of my trip to Mexico. If nothing else, maybe I can add some humor.

You know how I feel about sunsets.......

Here's a not so perfect one. The sun is obscured by the clouds. -Bad!

Okay, take a really nice beach and pack it with people! Too crowded! Bad!

Go all the way to Mexico and shop at Wal-Mart! Way Bad!

Guys with automatic weapons on the crowded beach - Puts me in a BAD mood!
(Unless of course, they are protecting "ME" from the BAD guys)

People on the Beach asking me if I want to buy trinkets.....
BAD Timing!

Going to Mexico and eating and drinking too much (and not getting sick)!
Not a Bad way to spend a week!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mexico - The Good!

Here it is, the first post in the "Mexico - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" series.

Mexico the Good!

At first look, this could appear to be travelers from the Midwest lounging at a topless, or nude beach. But after closer inspection, it's easy to determine that it's merely a sea lion colony enjoying the morning sun on these rocks near Los Cabos.

That's Good!

I spent about a week traveling around Mexico and enjoying some of the fine hospitality of our neighbors to the south. No, I didn't spend any time with Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican tycoon who beat out Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires! But I did see some great sites, eat good food, exercise a bit and unwind at tad. It was all good!

Slim's fortune has swelled to an estimated $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in 12 months. Shares of America Movil, of which Slim owns a $23 billion stake, were up 35% in a year. I didn't buy any America Movil (AMX) stock last year. That was bad......

Drinking margaritas on your balcony along the coast - Good!

Beautiful rock formations and clear water = Good!

Not getting Montezuma's Revenge! Way... Way... Good!

This natural stone arch is located at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula. This is where the Pacific Ocean meets up with the sea of Cortes.

Lover's Beach in Los Cabos... What a "Good" name for a beach huh?

Sun splashed beaches and playing in the sand! Very Good!

I even found my own private get away spot.... More Good!
Next post - Mexico The BAD!