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Moving Art - California

I was in LA last July. I caught these pieces of art in photo in order to research them later. I guess it might be time to do just that...

Amazing stuff...

Stop. Look. Listen.

Before you cross the street, stop, look and listen. This advice was drilled into my head as a child. Before you cross the busy street - which for me was often traffic crammed Ocean Boulevard in the heat of the Summer tourist season in Myrtle Beach, SC - you should stop, look both ways and listen for traffic coming as well as look. Stop. Look. Listen.

One of our kids, at preschool age, learned this phrase incorrectly and would utter "Stop. Look and Licken," when we would prepare to cross a street. In loving and nurturing parental fashion, we never corrected her and soon we all had a new phrase for practicing safe crossings.

There are all kinds of crossings in life.

The saying stays with me. Stop, look and listen. My life is busy. I plan each day for a busy life. I enjoy it. Living is a lot like showing up at the Sunday buffet and having to chose what you are not going to taste. I'm not particularly good at saying no. I want the entire feast!

Last weekend I spent some time in Asheville, NC. I had two wonderful days with nothing planned. I went for a hike in the mountain woods, visited the Folk Art Center, took a long sit at a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook, and tarried for hours in a local coffee shop writing, reading and relaxing. I stopped, slowed down, looked at the world I was in and savored, listened, to the details and nuances of my living - that one day. It was a beautiful day. I think I'll do it some more.

When is the last time you followed the simple direction: Stop, look and listen?

I'll Be Back...

Vacation NOW!

Delta Scared Me - Clockwork Orange Style

I flew Delta this past week and now I'm afraid of Lincoln , esurance and Fairfield. Here's how it happened.

Delta Airlines Flight Safety Video

During the take-off taxi, we were shown 3 advertisements prior to the safety video - Lincoln, esurance and Fairfield Inn. I get that. Airlines aren't able to make enough money on the ticket prices, so a little advertising revenue here and there is necessary. Then, right after take-off, but before the "you may now use your portable electronic devices" announcement, the video screens fired up again and showed us the same three ads. I tried to turn off the screen glaring at me from the headrest of the seat in front of me, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I was a captive audience. Then it occurred to me - I was living a "Clockwork Orange" moment (if you are too young to know the movie reference, leave this post now and go watch the film. It's historically significant... well to my history, anyway.)

1971 A Clockwork Orange

Here's the rub, take-off is one of the most tense moments in the flying experience. Anyone who has given any thought to the process knows that if something goes wrong during those first few minutes of take-off - it is bad (we're talking THE END bad). So, if you want to program me to associate stress with your product or brand, show it to me when I'm at one of the most stressful moments of my travels. I had this same experience on my return flight as, well. Same timing. Same brands.

Thanks Delta. Thanks Lincoln, esurance and Fairfield. I now can't drive a Lincoln, insured by esurance to my meeting at the Fairfield without a nagging feeling that I might crash and die.

*Note - the limo that took me from the airport to the resort and back was - you guessed it - a Lincoln. I'm scarred for life.

Sunday Coffee Cup – Tropical Reminder

I love the tropics. Give me 90 degree heat and 70% humidity, clear skies, crystal waters to relax in and I’m good – for a very long time. Lucky for my wife, she understands this and when we talk about vacations, the options never include heading north unless it is the peak of summer – and even then – I need a very good reason to not head to an island.

I love places like these: Bermuda, The Virgin Islands, Cozumel Mexico, The Bahamas, The Florida Keys, South Florida and in a pinch, I’ll even settle for the Carolina coast. Today’s Sunday Coffee Cup is for when I’m not at any of those places.

My mother gave us four mugs and matching saucers set for Christmas one year. They’re tropical. They make me smile and remind me of hot sun and bright sand. It isn’t anywhere near like being there, but it serves up a sizable cup of coffee and the occasion to remember and plan for tropical these.

Bermuda - Marley Beach


Bermuda - Witch's Island


Maho Bay Camps - US Virgin Islands

Cozumel 1976

Ahhhhh.... i remember them all!

Sunday Coffee Cup - Mobile Joe

As much as I enjoy a good cup of coffee, slowly savored and methodically consumed in the quiet space of my familiar home, I  also like having a cup of Joe to go! This morning's Sunday Coffee Cup fits the bill well. My son gave this one to me this past Christmas and he selected it based on all the 'must have' features for a mobile mug.

Here's my list of what you need to take your coffee mobile:

1. Stainless steel inside and out. I don't want BPA leeching into my coffee from a cheap plastic liner.
2. Vacuum insulated, double walled seal. Keeping that hot coffee hot is important when your out in the cold.
3. No drip, no spill lid. The lid needs to seal tight and secure enough to handle the occasional tilt, wobble and drop. Also, that lid needs to do the job getting the sacred essence into my mouth with out dripping on my chin or rolling down the side of the mug after a quick slurp.
4. It has to be of a size to easily fit in the car cup holder and not be so small it rattles or jostles on every turn and bump.
5. Finally, my mobile cup has to be easy to grab and drink without looking. Meaning the shape of the mug and conture of the lid need to tell me which way to tip and sip - by feel alone.

That's it, and yes, I know I've given way too much thought to the mobile cup requirements, but this is just one of the byproducts of traveling too many miles on caffeine and dreams...which is another story. Later! Time to roll.

Airport Waiting

While the air roars overhead
Methodical. Arrhythmic. Pulsing.
While the seconds tick away
Tick. Tock. Humming.
While cars stop and go
Lights on. Lights off. Horns.
While I await your arrival
I don't dare breath until
Your touch down
Into my heart

Headed to Las Vegas for ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT Conference. CYA!

If you need me this week, I'll be here: The Venetian.

I have the tough job of delivering a presentation at the ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT Annual Conference this week. Topic Title: Social Media Sells and HOW!? - Leveraging the Uniqueness of Social Media for E-Commerce.

However, I will be voting for Scott all week and you should too!

Oprah's No Phone Zone - Expanded

So, Oprah has proclaimed a "No Phone Zone" for texting, talking and such while driving to work.

This is good. However, I've been thinking lately about having a "No Phone Zone" in my personal space - i.e. what if we all said, if you are talking to me don't check your phone, write/read text messages, or email. Take the few minutes or hour of our conversation as a No Phone Zone. Let's remember how to focus, listen and be with each other.

I may just start by observing it myself. What say you?

Fun Coincidence - Opportunity?

I've been debating this post, and decided (obviously) to write it.

Last year I spoke at the Interfaith Service for the Rotary District 7690 annual conference at Myrtle Beach, SC. My message was received very well and I was asked immediately by the incoming District Governor if I would commit to speaking again this year. I accepted.

As it happens, we are convening this weekend at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. I'll be speaking Sunday at the Interfaith Service. Last week it was announced that President Obama and his family would be vacationing this week in NC and staying at - you guessed it - The Grove Park Inn.

Currently, I'm plotting on how I can maximize this coincidence to make me famous, or at least create a superb memory. I mean there will no doubt be only a wall or two between me and The President of The United States. That has to be an opportunity - I just haven't figured out exactly how...YET!