Showing posts from 2011

Clear eyes, full hearts...

Thanks to the magic of digital video recording, I was able to stop time, to delay the inevitable by almost 24 hours.

But as a wise man (or was it a woman?) once said, all good things must come to an end.

So on Saturday--almost a day later than the NBC executives planned it--the Lights went out. But what a way to go out.

"Friday Night Lights" ended it's five-year run as one of the greatest American television series ever in the same way the show lived: vivid acting performances, innovative cinematic work, and brilliant storytelling.

As the finale progressed, it was clear that the theme of "family" foreshadowed the end of the Taylor's time with Texas football. The move to Philadelphia was the only logical way for the core values of the show--loyalty, integrity, and family--to win out.

"Friday Night Lights" was never about football. Football was just the setting, the context for the relationships and for the stories of navigating life.

As Kyle Chandle…


A puff of smoke drifts away on the night air. It fades and you follow it but it continues on until you can follow it no more.

It will never return and what remains is that which surrounds you now. New sights, new tastes, new smells.

The puff is gone as that is it's nature.

Nothing left but to make a new puff.

Goodbye, smoke.

But what do you DO?

Farmer.  Teacher.  Cop.  Firefighter.  Engineer.  Doctor.  Builder.  Developer.  Artist.  Grocer.  Scientist.  Soldier.  Sailor.  Airman.  Marine.  Writer.  Butcher.  Baker.  Candlestick maker.

What do you do for a living?

If you can't describe what you do for a living in one word, you're not a producer.  You're not bringing anything to the table.  If you can't describe what you do in one word, you're making a living off of the labors of others, suckling at the teat of those around you.

The more words in your title, the further removed you are from actually producing something of value to society.

Don't believe me?  Try this one:

Chief Executive Officer.

Now that's a doozie of a title.  But what does a CEO actually produce?

This doesn't mean that you're gonna get rich in a one-word profession.  But is that the point?  To get rich?

The day after Ayn Rand's bellwether novel, "Atlas Shrugged," finally made it to the big screen is as good …

Even Keanu Reeves ain't falling for this

Two of the most frightening words a Project Manager can hear:

"Matrixed organization."

While the concept of assigning members of one team to support a project is fine on paper, too often organizations confuse "matrixing" (assigning a person full time to support another organizational element's objectives) with "jam more crap down people's throat while taking no organizational accountability for the successful completion of the project."

Frankly, if matrixing an organization were such a good idea, don't you think combat units would give it a go?

Coming soon:  A systems approach to building project a project TEAM.

Til death do us part

I ride a Harley. A 2006 Ultra Classic, smoke and black cherry with Screamin' Eagle big bore and 6-speed transmission. She's completely badass.

I'm gonna turn 50 later this year. Granted, I'm a young-at-heart 50 (my wife calls it "immature") but my body is somewhere between 57 and 68 years old.

A lot of people look at me and just shake their heads when they find out I ride. I'm in a position of reasonable responsibility, Director of IT Security for a Fortune 500 company.

Some will just blurt out the most bizarre things. "I knew a guy who wrecked on his bike and scraped his penis down to a stub on the asphalt." "My wife's cousin got hit head-on by a Greyhound bus full of NASCAR fans." Crap like that.

Most people I know look at me and just can't believe that a responsible, college-educated, quasi-professional man like me would risk his very hide and life riding a death-cycle.

You know what? Fuck 'em.

I've never met a 70-yea…

Break in the action

I took a break from "Dead Drunk" for a few days to work a side project for my great-nephew.

Now, I don't know if he's a great nephew -- I'm pretty sure I'm not a great uncle -- but he's my sister's daughter's son so the project was necessary.

Anyway, I wrote a short (24 page) children's book for Austin. My avuncular tale was the story of Flat Stanley's adventures in Florida.

It won't make the NYT bestseller list but hopefully it'll crack Austin's top 10.

So, it's back to the grind. I had to re-outline DD over the weekend but I'm on track. Goal for the week: complete chapter 2.

I've found that taking the time to update "Where There's Smoke" keeps me focused and on task. I don't use my real writing time to update here but thanks to my smart phone, I can use my time in the "media room" to keep my thoughts organized.

I hope Austin enjoys my little side project as much as I did. I just need to…

TV is the debbil

Didn't turn the television on when we got home from work tonight.

Finished chapter 1.


Baby Steps

"It's easier to sustain momentum than to build it."

Full time job (gotta pay the man), family, obligations...a million competing demands for time. Time that could be spent writing.

It's easy to succumb to the excuses, so it's nice to show forward progress, however slow and halting it might be.

I finished the prologue of my novel, "Dead Drunk" over the weekend. I've also got most of the first chapter written and have the outline done. So I'm making progress. Most of my writing time comes on the weekends now but I'll take what I can get.

Really I should make what I need instead of taking what i have but it's all about progress. Baby steps.

I've also got a short story -- "Love Stinks" -- submitted and should have a response by the end of next month.

I found an iPhone app for blogging so even when I can't take (don't make) time to sit down at the computer, I can still manage to pound out a few words while...well, while I…

Open the vein

I spoke with a friend last night.  He's going through a difficult time, facing all measure of uncertainty in his life.  "Once you've lost everything," he asked, "what do you do next?"

I answered his question with a question:  "What do you want to do?"

Ay, indeed, my friends.  There is, in fact, the rub.

To know what you want to do requires knowing oneself.  To know oneself requires introspection, a practice many avoid for fear of the dragons and demons we are almost certain to find there.  Going forward on an ill-conceived journey seems the easier path, easier than looking backward and confronting the worst in ourselves.

Of course this is not the easier path.  Until we face, confront, and conquer (or at least reach an armistice) with our past, our present it haunted; our future clouded.  Our walk is labored and weary-making.

My friend is an artist.  A damned good one.  So I encouraged him to look inward by seeing what the canvas revealed.  I told …