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Family and Friends

Friends,
I’m trying to maximize the time I spend with friends and family while in Ecuador. My dad had nine siblings, my wife’s dad 15. As you might imagine, my cousins and their families are fairly numerous (despite the fact five of my dad’s brothers didn’t marry or have children). Then there’s my wife’s family and my childhood friends. Needless to say, there is never enough time to see everyone, despite a valiant effort. Of course, I’m also working from “home”. Corny as it may sound, working half a world away, I realize I miss my Windstream “family” and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, there are donuts, here today courtesy of John Huddleston.  So, enjoy some comfort food with regards from my Cuenca family (pictured) to you!
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The Circle of Donuts

Missy Glauch wrote this post.
Friends, I will continue with Kelsey’s thought that you only get one chance to make a first impression.  Today is my first day to write a donut blog while our friend and colleague, J.P., is with his family in Ecuador.  I hope you enjoy what I have to say while enjoying a (not homemade, but store bought) donut.
While holding a donut and contemplating your first bite into this sweet delicacy have you ever thought of how its round shape with a hole in the middle relates to the circle of life.  You can hold the donut up to the sun and peer through the hole to realize that, “There is more to see than can ever be seen and more to do than can ever be done and more to find than can ever be found”[1].  Donuts bring us together every Friday, thanks to our colleague J.P., whose current locale may not be in the African savannas but does rival pride rock for scenery (refer to the picture he sent me below). Together we see all kinds of possibilities here at Windstream, we…

Keep Your Cool, Donuts Are Here

Friends, I was driving-up I-25, thinking about my forthcoming trip to Ecuador when I noticed a truck carrying liquid nitrogen. As I was reading all the printed material on the back, I observed a sign that read “Venting is Normal”. Ironic, don’t you think? After all, at −346 °F, liquid Nitrogen is one of the coolest products out there. It’s so cool that if you put any organic matter in it (vegetable or animal), it freezes solid and can be shattered like glass. The last thing you would expect liquid nitrogen to do is to lose its cool and vent! Then again, maybe there is a life-lesson there for all of us. Maybe the reason liquid nitrogen is so cool (when it’s not venting) is that it doesn’t bottle-up all its feelings and that it allows itself to let it all out from time-to-time.  Maybe we can even extend this life lesson to our diets. The lesson being that no matter how strict our diet, we need to leave a little room for a guilty pleasure (like a donut). Maybe not. In any event, they’re…

May Arbor Guide Your Donut Choice

Friends, Our building remodeling project has delivered a new “feature”: the parking garage elevator button configuration. Seated deep within a hole, it reminds me of the Flash Gordon rite of initiation into manhood. You know, that hollow log where young men must choose a hole to put their hand into (and hope the green slug wood beast doesn’t sting their hand). Even though I know this test does not involve the potential for a maddening death, there is some primal fear that gives me some pause every time I have to push the dreaded button. In a way, it makes sense. In nature, you don’t want to put your hand into the den of a burrowing creature. Whether it be a bear or a badger; a snake, a spider or a scorpion, the resulting encounter is unlikely to go well for you.  So we are conditioned to be weary. I wonder if the design is intentional. Personally, I think they should make this a permanent fixture –and build on it with some additional sensory feedback. Perhaps some dangling nylon stri…

Mindful Donuts

Friends, Do you wear headphones when you exercise? I used to. Looking back, I think I saw running as an unpleasant healthy activity. I wanted the results. The process, I could do without. A ‘must-do’, not a ‘wanna-do’. If my mind could be somewhere else whilst my body was being tortured, all the better. Then something happened. A design flaw in my ears caused the earbuds to continuously slip-out. It was so annoying I finally decided to try to go without the music. Jogging without putting my mind in neutral to the tune of a familiar song took a little getting used to. Still, it wasn’t long before I noticed I was more present during my runs. There were the sounds. Birds chirping and squeaking. The tires of passing cars fading in and out like waves in the ocean. The gravel rhythmically crunching beneath my feet. Crunch, crunch, crunch –with the occasional thud, thud, thud of a wooden bridge or thump, thump, thump of concrete sidewalks. I must admit gravel is my favorite and not because …

Enigmatic Expressions

Friends, As a non-native English speaker, I find some of the idiomatic expressions we use, well, befuddling. When someone arrives in the nick of time, do you ever wonder who Nick was and why he so often borders on impunctuality? The Internet puts many answers at our fingertips, which can be fascinating. Too often, I find the explanations the pundits provide dissatisfying –either because the origin of an expression is too mundane, or because they are merely speculating on how it came about. I sometimes prefer my own backstory. Earlier this week, Missy Glauch, Kelly Crosby and I got to speculating about some of these expressions: Neck of the woods. Since when do woods have necks and how in tarnation did that come to mean neighborhood? For a while I thought it might be Nick (perhaps the same chronically semi-punctual gentleman we discussed earlier). Apparently, Al Roker’s folksy expression dates back to colonial days when many villages were near a narrowing (a neck) of the wooded areas s…

Uneventful Friday

Friends, Folks tend to complain about the negativity in the news. Some people think that all the stories about lying, stealing, cheating and killing are a sign of the poor health of our society. A perverse urge that draws us to the events in the tabloids and tells of the decline and inevitable doom of civilization. I disagree. Of course, I would prefer that the evil things that are reported hadn’t happened, however, the news is all about the unexpected. In order to be newsworthy, something must be out of the ordinary. Our baseline expectation is for things to be good. There is no novelty when people tell the truth, respect other people’s property, behave honorably and let other people go-on with their lives. Goodness is the norm, and so, we take the good stuff that happens in the world for granted. Evil acts, on the other hand, scare, surprise and scandalize us. And that’s a good thing. Granted, some extraordinary act of kindness will make the news from time-to-time, and I’m glad to …