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Grateful Friday!

For family and friends, For food, fitness, freedom, faith and fresh air For flights of fantasy and fiction flicks Football and fútbol Feelings of fondness; forgiveness of faults Whether fleeting or forever; foreign or familiar,  I raise a French press and French cruller And give thanks for life. Happy Friday!
Recent posts

Eight Billion Donuts

  Friends, This week, Earth’s population symbolically crossed the eight billion inhabitant mark. This is an estimate, of course, it’s not like Big Brother has an exact tally of all the arrivals and departures from this planet, so we don’t know for sure who the eight billionth person was–that would be creepy. Although, it could also provide great promotional opportunities. Baby Kim Chin, born at 5:47 AM Tibet standard time on November 15th, 2022, might appear on the cover of Cracked Magazine or receive a lifetime supply of free Krispy Kreme donuts; the accident of her birth’s timing making her an instant global celebrity. Still, creepy! Speaking of creepy, I read somewhere that if you smooshed us all together into a giant sphere, the ensuing meatball would have a 1 Km diameter (granted, that thought experiment was done when there were 7.88 billion of us, but what’s 122 million among friends? While this may not seem like a lot, you’d need to meet five new people every second, 16 hour

Eclipse Embarrassment

Friends, For this week´s lunar eclipse, I headed out away from city lights to better observe the blood moon. At the mountain cabin, the river roars in the background while fireflies flash their brights. A startled dog barks, frogs chirp and croak in the petrichor. I fill my lungs with the crisp Andes air and set the pre-dawn alarm. The river, now the only background sound, lulls me to sleep in anticipation. Up before the sun, I grab a quick bite and brave the brisk morning air. A rooster crows while a couple of early birds chime-in—is that a toucan I hear? As predicted, the moon is way out east but something´s off. Our natural satellite appears whole—no bite taken by Earth´s shadow. As I slowly diagnose what´s happening, a donkey brays in the distance, barely audible over the river´s constant drone. I´m a day late, how embarrassing! So glad no one was here to witness my faux pas. O well, I guess I´ll go on a hike and take-in the unspoiled scenery. There´s always 2025… besides, I have

Mediocre Donuts

Friends,  Ever get the feeling some people have just stopped trying? Like the good folks at  ASOCOMCH , a small grocer in the town of Girón, Ecuador. While there might be a legitimate reason for their meaningless name, I prefer to imagine they accidentally printed their sign after a cat walked across the keyboard. When their print shop suggested a redo with the actual store name they shrugged and said “meh, close enough, besides, this will make trademarking the name a lot easier.” Or,  Fine Airport Parking  in Houston, Texas. How’s the place? It’s fine. Not great, just fine. I suppose their slogan must be "settle for us." As an added bonus, leave your car too long and you might get, you guessed it, a fine. Speaking of which, I was hoping to come up with a clever donut tie-in. Unfortunately I didn’t, so this will have to do. Like they say, good enough for government work. Happy Friday!

Creepy Donuts

Friends, Halloween is just around the corner, so I have to ask: what’s the creepiest thing you do? For me it has to be genealogy. On one hand you’re digging-up information on a bunch of dead people. On the other, the personal details gathered about distant living relatives can border on stalking. As if that weren’t bad enough, the software I use has a glitch that interprets any date in the current month as being in the future. So, if my daily home town obituary search (I know) yields a new entry, I get an alert that “John Doe’s death date is in the future”. It might as well finish the question: “are you planning on killing them?” Lately, I’ve also noticed several online family trees appear to show living people as dead. These “living dead” exist to circumvent pesky privacy rules designed to prevent identity thieves (and bona fide researchers) from seeing information about the living. Creepy! Speaking of which, I think I’ll bite into my ghoulish anthropomorphic donut and bid you adieu!

I assume you're ready for a donut

 Friends, A lifetime ago, as a first year MBA student, my macroeconomics professor asked what price I would pay for a business. I think he wanted to use my answer in an analogy to the overall economy. Unfortunately, having steered clear of business classes as an undergrad, it would be generous to say my understanding of corporate valuation methodologies was remedial. So, I did what any self-confident twenty five year old might, I blurted out the first answer that came to mind. An answer I thought might be directionally correct. An answer, it turns-out, so wrong the profesor rolled his eyes and made some patronizing remark about yours truly. In hindsight, I think he assumed this was a softball question, one any MBA student worth his salt would have handled better. A flawed assumption. Over time folks have assumed many things about me. They assume I'm not González because of the way I look and talk. They assume I've never ridden a bucking bronco because of my career choices. They

Houston, we have a problem!

Friends, There's a certain rush to taking a chance. When outcomes are uncertain, adrenaline levels tend to go up. I occasionally indulge in one such chance-based activity: standby air travel. Think of it as a lottery with much better odds. Want to raise the stakes? Add a layover and an international destination. Now you're talking! In the world of standby travel, you hope your ticket wins but you temper your expectations so the disappointment won't sting as bad when you're bumped to the next flight. And so, although I was hoping to be in Ecuador by now, I write you this morning's note from lovely Houston. As you've likely surmised by now, my track record yesterday was mixed. I made it out of Denver on my second try. There are five flights that can get me to Houston in time to catch my connection --and you've gotta try for the 5 AM itinerary (no regrets!)-- so I was not too worried about that first leg, despite the mile-long security lines at mile-high. For t