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FaShun

Written by BL on March 2, 2014 – 7:30 pm -

Fashion: A prevailing custom or style
Fa: A long, long way to run
FaShun: embracing a prevailing custom or style while failing to appreciate what got you here.

I walked past the line of women sequestered inside the velvet rope waiting for the opportunity to enter an “outlet” store selling purses for $300 and up.
I entered the WiFi enabled food court and saw preschoolers staring intently into their iPads while their parents tapped away on iPhones.
There were easily a dozen people lined up to pay 5 dollars for a cup of coffee, while other adults complained about the hefty cost of a 6 dollar 2 entre, Chinese dinner.
The Faux News Channel provided free propaganda to the assembled throng decrying the cut backs in military spending while demanding the government balance the budget.

8 years ago when I wrote the last chapter of my novel I asked my readers to consider the possibilities afforded merely by allocating our resources someplace else.
Overpriced Fashion, Premium beverages and MORE offensive weaponry is not what I had in mind.
On the other hand, my record as a capitalist clearly demonstrates that pursuit of real value, true innovation and harmonic design rarely earns a substantive living.
CONtent reigns supreme in today’s society.  We buy the logo instead of the product.  We pay for the image not for the substance.  We embrace misdirection
as if it would truly lead us to the promised land.

I made money on my book,
even though it was never on the NY Times best seller list,
even though it wasn’t about vampires or wizards or the triumph and tragedy of apocalyptic teenagers,
even though movie producers loved it but preferred to risk their millions on remakes, reboots and movie versions of TV reruns.

I have been a$ked by many to write a sequel.  I have been a$ked by some to produce CONtent.
But I have to earn a living writing what I know and I know you don’t need anymore of the same old CON.
When it comes to writing software,
there are still those decision makers who cling to the same old same old
and, as in all markets, there are many who choose based on seductive imagery and fashion.
But a perspective that writes to real value, true innovation and harmonic design
CAN still be rewarded.

As I have aged in this business,  I have had little trouble keeping up with changes in software technology.
My ”old Data Wrangler’s” perspective allows me to offer a learned opinion on that which will produce real value that which is all hat and no cattle.
However, as my management has become younger and younger, I fear that FaShun is becoming the norm.

I think my perspective will buy me another 6 or 7 years of real employment,
but you never know when adding real value while dressed in jeans, a white button down shirt and “gym” shoes
will cease to be stylish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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De Motivation is demotivation

Written by BL on February 2, 2014 – 10:30 pm -

Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It’s the difference
between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around
the house all day. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining
goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation
and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain
period, and start being who you want to be…

This Definition from Psychology Today is at best, misleading, at it’s worst, quite damaging.

You could see it in the eyes of Peyton Manning tonight…all the waking up before dawn, goal setting, study, practice, learning and overcoming insurmountable obstacles,
did not allow him to attain his goal…A few days earlier I could see it on the face of my wife, who after nine years of dedication to task, pride swallowing support, 60 hour work weeks and
never missing a day of work or a deadline saw her goal of gainful employment until retirement, disappear.  I felt it in the texts and emails of this past week describing the condition of my 47 year old brother-in-law, whose body has now caught up with a mind and spirit that failed to achieve the artistic life he sought.

One can not blame them for losing the desire to do things.  For not seeing the value in picking yourself up, “powering through the pain and being who you want to be”.
I have lost the big game, lost more than one job, and  failed to achieve what I wanted, oh so many times.
There is a line in the 1st Christopher Reeve Superman movie when Clark is lamenting not being a football player…and his “dad” says to him…”I don’t know why you were put on this earth…but I do know…it was not just to score touchdowns”.

I believe that each loss teaches us one more lesson in who we are and allows us to adjust our path toward what we are MEANT to be.

Yes, pick yourself up.  Yes, work thru the pain.  But don’t just try, try again…adapt, adjust and seek your destiny.
Remember despite the cliché, by definition, NO ONE is in control of their destiny.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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There is no Benefit to Unemployment

Written by BL on January 20, 2014 – 7:08 pm -

Had a radio interview last week, was asked to talk about unemployment…I didn’t really get a chance to share MY views but that is how these things go.

Here is what I wanted to get across:

your book title or area of expertise
Considering SomeplacElse
A modern myth about that last 5 days of a utopian experiment that was founded by a homeless man who was allowed to win the lottery.
I started writing this after being “laid off” from yet another “Blue Chip” Company for the 3rd time in my, then, 25 year career.

 

your website,
I have an ancient blog at SomeplacElse.com

 

a description of what you have to offer the audience

Renowned Physicist Richard Feynman had a saying “Perspective is worth 80 IQ points”
1. I try to offer a unique perspective in most everything I do AND I urge my readers to consider the possibilities afforded by merely allocating our resources Someplace Else.

 

Renowned eccentric genius R. Buckminster Fuller posed the question,
“If we do what Nature intended for use to do, will Nature not provide?”
2. While I am still not sure exactly what Nature intended for me to do, I have found that designing,
building and working in harmony with my environment has provided much more opportunity than merely going along to get along.

 

In the movie Unforgiven Clint Eastwood’s character states “Deserve’s got nuthin to do with it”
3. No one deserves to be unemployed, yet society seems to think YOU “lost” your job because YOU did something wrong.
In most cases the fault lies with an “organization” that failed to design, build and work in harmony with their environment.

 

Finally, JFK proposed a “Full Employment, Fiscal Surplus” economic model for the country.
The idea was that if everyone had a job, the country would be better off, and not just  financially.
4. While this kind of economic “stimulus” has fallen out of our rhetoric, from my perspective it’s time to resurrect it.

A. We could start by creating a national registry for the unemployed AND under-employed.
Unemployment is currently calculated by survey NOT by actual count, this is absurd.
(no it does not cost MILLIONS of dollars to build a website that works and it doesn’t have to be built by Canadians)

B. When we are ready to get serious about full employment, I would advocate a public works project to bring fiber connectivity to EVERY household in the USA.
Very high speed internet service would then be offered to every home at a minimal cost. (free to the unemployed)
THIS will have an even greater impact on this country than the Interstate Highway system of the 50s and 60s.

C. I have many other solutions, but they are limited to my perspective.
By considering the perspectives of others we can easily achieve Full Employment and truly solve just about any other problem facing this country.

 

 


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An Optimist and a Pessimist walk into a bar…

Written by BL on June 30, 2013 – 5:16 pm -

I was asked to post my optimist joke from Tuesdays’ presentation at Changing Hands Book Store.
Sometimes you just have to be able to READ stuff.

An Optimist and a Pessimist walk into a bar on 2 for 1 night.
The optimist says, “Bartender, drinks for my pessimist friend and I”.
The bartender takes out 2 glasses fills one and hands it to the optimist then slides an empty glass to the pessimist.

The Pessimist says, “My glass is empty”
The Optimist says, “Funny, I see my order as half full”
The Pessimist says “But you paid for 2 drinks and you only got 1”
The bartender says “This is the Optimist’s bar, my friend, where glasses are always half full, except on 2 for 1 night”
The pessimist says “So what do I have to do to get a drink around here?”
The bartender says,
 “You could go to the Pessimist’s bar next door
 but their glasses are always half empty and they are having 2 for 1 night as well
OR
You could just change your mind.  It’s all in how YOU look at it my friend”


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Optimizm

Written by BL on June 22, 2013 – 6:29 pm -

On Saturday, June 15th (National Smiles Day) Contagious Optimism was officially “released” by Viva Editions.  I am proud to be listed as 1 of 100+ “co-authors” in this 1st volume and I urge you to not just buy/read the book, but to contemplate the message being delivered and consider the very slight change in focus being advocated.

Some of you may think you have heard it all before, from Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” to Norman Vincent Peale to Natalie Wood’s 34th street lament “it’s like, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again…I thought so!”…but as they say “lemme splain”

Those of you who know me should that my career and my record as a capitalist are not shining examples of optimistic fortitude.  In fact my life’s saga does little to support the notion the notion that all you have to do is “keep thinkin those good thoughts”.  St Robert Of the Hoops (Bobby Knight) has published a work on the power of negative thinking, surely this is a tune I would be more apt to sing.

It came as quite a surprise to me, when I was invited to help make optimism contagious, but after some contemplation I ended up submitting 4 stories.  These were not tales of fortune favoring those that believe.  Rather I submitted essays of how a differing perspective can lead us out of the bleakest of circumstances, of how finding the value in what we have is far more productive than using what we don’t have as an excuse for straying off destiny’s path.

The 1st of my 4 submissions can be found in Volume one, and if (rather WHEN) all goes well the others will appear in future volumes.

On June 25th at 7:00 pm I will be at Changing Hands Bookstore  in Tempe, AZ offering my perspective, signing copies and giving away some really cool “Got Optimism” totes. (a hit at the Southwest Book Fiesta)

 

 


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Half a Glass, Half a Glass, Half a Glass on

Written by BL on May 24, 2013 – 3:40 pm -

I just got back from 3 days at the Albuquerque Book Fiesta  where I did a “reading” from and promoted the new book “Contagious Optimism” for 3 days.
In general the conference was poorly attended and many authors were angry and frustrated.

Sitting at table with an advanced copy of a book proclaiming the power of positive forward thinking
and tote bags asking  the question:

Glass

I HAD to keep my glass half full.

I gave my presentation as the opening day throng of almost multiple dozens had, mostly, dissipated.
The crowd of 2 nearly doubled as my words echoed through the vast empty hall.

And by the time I was done, there were smiles on their faces.

It turned out 2 of the 3 attendees were fellow exhibitors with nothing better to do (AND they wanted a tote bag).

The next day, attendance was better but still pretty dismal.

However, half the exhibitors made their way to my table because, apparently, the optimism in my reading was slightly
contagious, and provided me with the three most valuable words an author can hear, “TELL ME MORE”.

I guess it could have been the tote bags, but only a handful took them so I’m sticking with the former interpretation.

Then a very interesting thing happened 1/3 of the authors gave up and went home Saturday night.

Those that stayed saw the largest crowd of the weekend come through the doors on Sunday.

I have attended 4 of these book festivals over the last 5 years. I never go to sell books.
I go to promote an idea, a concept, a perspective that has the potential of generating those three magic words.

On average, IF you are not a major celebrity and if you are very lucky, each day allows you to plant the seed in 10 or
20 people.  More than 100 people stopped at my table…more than half of them walked away with a tote, a smile and the thought
that MORE of this optimism stuff wouldn’t be half bad.

So from my perspective my  half cup runneth over.


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No App for this one…we need a real Soulution

Written by BL on December 29, 2012 – 9:26 pm -

I believe it was John Naisbitt back in 1982, forecasting that the combination of technology induced isolation coupled with the ability to selectively access information that re-enforces your personal bias, would lead to more and more individual acts of terrorism.  However, he further postulated that our need for real human interaction would generate tremendous growth in social organizations, like churches, and educational institutions, which had the potential for limiting the madness at the fringe of civilized behavior.  He referred to this as High Tech and High Touch.
Unfortunately, it seems our current High Touch society refers instead to the proliferation of screens that we point to or keys that we tap on.  Our face to face communication is becoming more and more cam to cam.  And instead of having Social institutions that promote civilized behavior, they are instead moving to the fringes of madness themselves.
Gun laws will not fix this nor will imprisoning our children in armed fortresses, or retrofitting our shopping centers, our movie theaters, our office buildings, etc with metal detectors, security cameras and armies of private security.
WE need intelligent civil discourse aimed at discovering and solving the real problems of our society…but until we recoginize that the vast majority of the people in this world are basically good, that people of good will often honestly disagree, that free thinking is the cornerstone of a free society, then we will continue down this path of epic waste, irrational behavior and ungodly destruction.


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Queen of Kings

Written by BL on September 12, 2012 – 9:13 pm -

Here’s to Delores King, the quintessential mother bear who, for over 65 years, fiercely defended her 10, YES TEN, offspring against all who would dare to even think about doing them harm.
While diminutive in stature relative to her towering husband and 6 sons, the Hulk once stated, he would gladly take on all seven of them rather than cross Delores. She had an elegant Eastern European beauty that she passed on to her 4 daughters.  But it was her proudly defiant womanhood gene that most attracted me to her 2nd daughter and allowed me to marry in to this family.
Interacting with Delores for over 40 years, taught me a lot about respect for her gender, standing up for what is right, and unconditional love.  There was still much more to learn, but after 86 years of fighting the very, very good fight, the forces of nature took her physically away from us, but her never-say-die spirit lives on in all who were lucky enough to know her.
 Note to God: You probably want to start making those changes for the better NOW.

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Whirred by any other name

Written by BL on March 4, 2012 – 8:21 pm -

I’ll admit it.  Shakespeare makes my head spin.  To read it is to ache in head as the hammers of a thousand smithies pound the sense of it into that which author may have intended.
To hear it is to succumb at once to wicked deafness of babble uttered in tongues unbeknownst.   And yet, here before me, delivered by postal emissary, lies NetFlicky’s tale of choice, “Anonymous“.

I have oft heard many question the truth of Shakespearian authorship.  A man, a mere actor of severely limited education, with illiterate children, would not, yea could not, have had the wherewithal to pen such volumes of exquisite composition.  Yet, his name remains on the stuff most call exemplary literary genius.   This new tale of fiction blasphemously declares there is another, more likely, truth to be heard, if not believed.

Anonymous is a work of words, deftly crafted into dreams of plausible reality.  Was this man Shakespeare a mere opportunist taking full advantage of the censorship of his day?  Was this other, regally educated, man who should be king, obsessed by the power of his words, to seduce, to incite, to raise up the common man the real author of our literary legacy?

I, for one, took great comfort from this tale, not because it disparages Shakespeare, but rather because it explains the noble motivation for these many words.  It reveals the source of the energy and drive that it would take to generate such a body of work.  So be it Edward De Vere, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson, William Shakespeare, some other anonymous author or a collection of many that quilled these words to hurt the head,  Anonymous doth breathe life itself into the hearts of those who write and, per chance, those who dream.

 


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SOPA PIPA Anyone?

Written by BL on January 20, 2012 – 8:54 pm -

Out here in the Southwest desert we have a puffed pastry called Sopapilla.
Per our friends at Wikipedia (the only large scale NON-PROFIT engine of Information exchange)
“It is generally served as a dessert with honey poured between its two layers…(sometimes served) in place of bread, or filled with ingredients common to tacos and enchiladas.”

I can see how one could easily confuse this confection with the hot air filled Stop Online Piracy Act and its Senate companion the Protect Intellectual Property Act, because both are  loaded with tasty pork.  But trust me, SOPA PIPA will be very hard to swallow.

About 15 years ago, we began a journey into the world of FREE information exchange.  Alvin Toffler spoke of it years before, telling us that an information based economy would be VERY different from a goods based economy.  If I give or sell you my Book or car or chair, you now have the book or car or chair and I do not.  If I give or sell you my information, you now have it and so do I.  Additionally, in each exchange of my information, by virtue of simple feedback , I am very likely to have even more information than I had before.

But this is crazy talk, say the congressional lobbyists for the Music, Movie, Print and Video publishing houses.  You cannot just copy our “intellectual products” and give them to the world.  Oh but we can.  And this is the fundamental dilemma, if ANYONE can copy your product and mass produce it, how does ANYONE make money off of it?  And if the publishers can’t make money off of it, not only will they cease to produce it, they will cease to exist.

Making it illegal for any individual to make a copy of  a song, a movie, a book or a video(and it always has been illegal) has had little or no impact on the practice.  Does anyone really believe that making it MORE illegal is going to deter the free exchange of information?

I have long advocated a simple solution, “Make the right thing the easiest thing to do”.  Steve Jobs tried this with the iTUNES, “hey-it’s-only-99-cents-and-it-is-built-in-to-your-IPOD” approach.  This worked okay, but the multi-billion dollar recording industry is now a shadow of it’s former self AND if you don’t want to deal in an all things Apple, there are multiple ways to copy without fees.  While this put a lot of recording execs out of work, the Artists who actually produce what we are supposed to buy, suddenly started making more money from Live Events using their free viral music as a publicity generating MONSTER.  I have two words for you “Justin Bieber”.

This story will be repeated over and over as each Media giant faces with their own mortality.  They must find a way to add value to their product so that consumers will want to buy it (bootleg quality is always suspect) or, more likely, embrace the Information Economy for what it is and produce events and experiences that the consumer will  pay to attain.

The three most important words an Artist, Author, Movie Maker or Performer can hear from their fans are “I want more”.  I say this all the time when it comes to Sopapillas, but when it comes to SOPA PIPA the three words being uttered in the direction of consumers are “You’re under arrest”.  Not a really solid marketing strategy for the Information Economy.

 


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