Tuesday, March 31, 2009
You never know what you might stumble across when surfing the web. Like unlocking the bowels of the human mind, everything and anything can be found inside. So when I discovered a previously unthought of use for bacon flavor I can admit; a little shock, no much surprise but a touch of curiosity, as in "why?" came to mind.
Allowing the brain to wrap itself around the idea, I guess I can envision how such an idea might work-up an appetite for a little "afternoon delight". Especially if that afternoon is merely the breakfast feast from an extended evening encounter the night before. (A good bottle of wine is know to bring people together in many ways, and how better to end such encounters then enjoying a nice breakfast.) Which is when it occurred to me that everyone loves bacon. So my thoughts changed from "why" to "why not".
Of course, allowing the thought to linger a bit longer I then wondered, what were the inventors of such a product snorting?
Friday, March 27, 2009
While sharing a bottle of wine today the complexity of the banking industry sunk in, let me explain...
I found myself sitting at the bar at a small bistro, snacking on food but focused on wine. Rather than drinking glass after glass I cut to the chase and ordered a bottle. Next to me sat a well dressed man, who after a offer to share some wine, felt compelled to share his story. He was winding down a 30+ year carrier in banking. A journey that began when he was fresh back for our nations last tragic war, Vietnam. With a young family just beginning, he needed a job that would be stable, reliable and allow him to make decent money. Bank seemed to fit the bill, and for the majority of his life he was right. By working hard, not taking risks and conservatively investing his disposable income he was able to build a small fortune. As retirement approach he saw his net worth reach beyond 5 million dollars. It seemed that soon he and his wife would be able to relax into the sunset as the regal grand parents always financially able help a family member in need or spoil the grand kids when they wanted. As the son of immigrants he felt like he'd achieved the "American Dream". The dream that drew his parents to risk everything many years ago. Hope in the future of their child, this banker, was all they had to go on. No guarantees.
But now this man, who still wears a suit to work everyday (while the rest of us get away with jeans) was sitting next to me at the bar, with hope the only thing left in his eyes. Work for him is so slow that no one noticed that when he chose not to return from lunch. His bank, like many banks around the country is in trouble. So bad in fact that he may not have a job in a few weeks, much less a retirement. Additionally, his investments in the market have evaporated. This one time multi-millionaire now has a few hundred thousand in the bank. Just enough I figured to last out his uncertainty but no longer the empire he thought he'd created. His honest hard-work was now gone all because others were rewarded when they took shortcuts.
Still as we talked I felt no bitterness in his voice, only sadness. Sadness not for himself, but sadness for those around us. Unable, unwilling, unsure how to share their story. Tough times are ahead, tough times for us all. But as we sat and shared our wine I found hope in our talk. Together we'll find a way to get by...
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Right about now we all could use a little green, but today is not the day for worries. Instead, wear a little green. Drink something green. Celebrate because you can. Rather than being green, live happily and you'll discover that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Friday, March 13, 2009
If you're an American and you love wine, you must know it was California that helped make it all possible. Like it or not, before 1976 wine was not on the consumption map in the United States. Before that, good wine in the US was an underground delight known only by the few who sought it out. Now, wine making grapes are so readily available that California often experiences a grape glut. An unthinkable thought before that fateful day back in 76.
With the current struggles of the World's economy new pervious unthinkable ideas are starting to surface. California's own personal mess has this trend setting state contemplating a radical idea. Will this be the dawn of a new green economy?
We've heard it before, it is time for change. The problem is when are we going to listen. Perhaps we all need to take time to relax and alter our thinking.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Alone in the woods, I slowly made my way back to the car. The sun was just setting as the parking lot came into view, the serenity of my hike would soon be over. Rather than returning to society I decided to linger. Finding a perch on a fallen log, my new vantage allowed me to take in the many colors of the retreating sun. Believed I'd be taking in a few more moments of peace, I pulled a "water" bottle from my pack. it still contained a few swallows of wine. A choice Merlot, a winter sunset, and a chance for quiet reflection, I can't think a better way to end a day. Little did I know the events of this day in 1876 would shatter my hopes for a quite moment with the setting sun.
Back on March 10th, 1876, Thomas A. Watson heard the words that would forever alter human communication. A machine conveyed the audible thoughts of another person in a different part of the world. In that case the other room. The magnitude to the moment may have been lost over the years, especially now that we can easily share our most trivial thoughts with people on the other side of the world. But how different life once was, when it took human contact to pass along our intimate thoughts. Now we've grown accustom to the roll of machines in relaying our messages.
As I sat, believing to be alone, on that log with wine in hand I heard a muffed beep. Pulling my blackberry from my pocket I read the thoughts of a newly delivered text. " -- come here -- I want to see you." Apparently Mr. Watson was not to be the only one summed on this day.
I left my thoughts behind with the sunset and return to the car. Thanks to my phone the stress of society was back.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I needed to roll. Back in the states and still jobless, a distraction was in order. Over a few glasses of wine, I convinced some friends that time at the bowling alley knocking pins around would help take the edge off the day. Strikes and gutters, life gives you both. The key is to just keep rolling and eventually something comes along that will make you smile.
Bowling has a way of cheering up the soul, but on this day it was the encounter we made that gave us that day's smile. There, practicing in the lane next to us was a guy preparing to bowling for a higher purpose, kids; in the hope of inspiring success and encouraging dreams. We all could use a little of that nowadays, so we gave him a few pointers and donated to his "Little Urban Achievers". I hope you do the same,... I'm sure the dude would.