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Showing posts from 2016

Donut Resolutions

Friends, It’s the last Friday of the week. Time to reflect on the year that’s coming to a close and learn from the past. Time to take a deep breath and appreciate the present. Time to plan for the future and make those new years’ resolutions. Here’s what I’ve come-up with: I will try to let go of the pride that can sometimes hold me back. Ask for help when I don’t know an answer, rather than trying to find it on my own. Ask that awkward question you know everyone is “too smart” to articulate. Say “no” and point folks to the right resource when you know it’s the right thing to do.  I will continue to work on making my smile lines deeper (this is an old standby resolution I like to make every year).  I will eat lunch away from my desk. I will try to realize that breaks are necessary and actually lead to higher productivity. I will try to grab a colleague or two and grab lunch with them instead of eating alone.  I will drink more of that opaque and odd-tasting stuff that comes from

The Twelve Donuts of Christmas

Friends, Did you know the twelve days of Christmas refers to the twelve days AFTER Christmas? You see, Epiphany (the traditional day commemorating the wise men’s arrival at the manger) is celebrated on January 6 th –twelve days after Christmas! And even though Amazon and eBay may shiver to hear this, in many societies -mine included- it was traditional to give gifts on the twelfth day of Christmas (although Gold, Incense and Myrrh were generally not on the registry). This year, those proverbial twelve days feel very connected to donuts. Granted there are no donuts in the office today but you have to admit a dozen days resonate with a dozen donuts. The coolest connection, however, is the fact next Friday will be the day for five golden rings –also known as glazed donuts! And since we still have another couple of weeks of Christmas, I don’t feel so bad for not having twelve donuts here for your gift. Merry Christmas!

Indulgent Donuts

Friends, Colorado has been ranked the eighth healthiest state in the nation, despite having the most active people and the lowest obesity rate. The reason? Alcohol and drugs. It brings to mind the old joke where a man goes to the doctor asking if he will live to see 100. The doctor asks whether the man engages in promiscuity, gambles, smokes, drinks or consumes drugs –to which he responds “of course not”. So the doctor asks “ why , then, do you want to live to be 100?” It would appear we need a little vice in our lives to keep things interesting. While I certainly don’t advocate or condone drug use, I do think a little peccadillo here and there helps to spice things up. Perhaps that’s why I insist on having donuts on Fridays. Speaking of which, Holy Donuts are here, so, come spice things up a bit by indulging in a sugary vice. Happy Friday!

Heroic Donuts

Friends, When I grow up I want to be like John Glenn. Speed record holder, flying across the continent faster than anyone before. Public servant, in an age of shock politics and corruption scandals, the worse his opponents could accuse him of was being boring. Badass space pioneer, the first American to orbit the earth returned to space in his late 70s. Dead at 95, he loved himself a good Daylight Donut. That last part I made-up. Still, we do have some “sugar halos” in honor of his passing, so come celebrate a true American hero with a sweet treat. Happy Friday!

Conflict-Free Donuts

Friends, Have you heard about engagement rings made with conflict-free diamonds? I have to say, I love the double entendres (intentional or not). Guaranteed blood diamond-free rings with the hint of a more personal (albeit utopic) promise for your marriage. A magic stone with the power to deliver a relationship devoid of marital strife. Of course, if you were to make such an explicit statement (e.g. "Conflict-free diamonds for a conflict-free marriage"), it would have the off putting ring of a political campaign promise. But if you let the groom feel like he's made that connection on his own, it's rather endearing. I never got my wife an engagement ring, but if I had, it would have to be conflict free. Think of the potential! When delivering it "...and the diamond is conflict-free, so we'd never fight", as a conversation piece with guests, "...and we never quarrel, thanks to the conflict-free diamond", or, after a nasty fight "honey, put

Donuts for the Friday before Thanksgiving

Friends, Thanksgiving day is just around the corner, which has me thinking about gratitude. Today, I take the liberty of sharing some of them with you: W inter weather. It’s finally here, bringing with it beautiful scenery and much needed moisture. I nspiration. Without it, this note would simply read “donuts have arrived”. N ature. Awe-inspiring, soothing, soul-enriching nature. D onuts. Duh! S pecial friends. It’s the same kind of special used in “special education” T hanksgiving break. A time to recharge by counting our blessings. R andom conversations. You know, the ones that put a smirk on your face. E lections are over. What a relief! We can go back to beer and blue pill commercials during football games. A wesome colleagues. You make coming to work fun. M y family. I’m a lucky guy, what can I say. In case you missed it, the list is also an acrostic (sorry for the not-so-subliminal message). In any event, grab a Holy Donut, and while you’re  enjoying it, mayb

Good day, donuts!

Friends, My morning commute was a reminder of how good life is. The crisp air blowing through my beard as I drove my ragtop fast in the pre-rush hour freeway was invigorating. Watching the sun paint the clouds, as if using a bright orange highlighter, inspiring. The buildings downtown, glimmering mirrors reflecting the dawn sky, beautiful. The view out my office window, spectacular. I find that when negative thoughts try to invade my head, the best remedy is to pause and count my blessings. Family and friends. Awesome colleagues. Beautiful weather and awe inspiring mountains. Coffee and donuts. This morning, as you prepare to make that final push for the week, don’t forget to savor a donut (Holy Donuts are here!) and, if you’re up to it, share something for which you’re grateful. Happy Friday!

Donuts and Space-Time

Friends, Have you ever stopped to consider the profound (and sometimes unforeseen) impact our actions can have on the fabric of the universe? The thought occurred to me as I was watching Pablo, my 6 foot something fourteen-year-old son. He is a smart, likeable, independent young man who is starting to assert his personal tastes (big Afro) and will, sooner than you know it, be an adult -fully in charge of his own destiny. If you rewind just a little, it was not so long ago he was that "I'm cute and I know it" six-year-old, small enough to sit on daddy's lap, sporting a hairstyle to daddy's liking. Rewind a little further and he was a twinkle in his daddy's eye. A decision waiting to be made. An action ready to be taken. Pure potential. Today, I can’t imagine life without him (or any of my other kids). Back then, I couldn’t imagine how much he would enrich my life. The same can be said for so many decisions. Enrolling in University, starting a new project, mak

Work Anniversaries and Donuts

Friends, I’ve been wondering about our observance of solar rotations. What’s with the need to stamp each year that passes with a number? Lots of numbers. 49, 24, 35 –my age, how long I’ve been married and how many Great American Beer Fests have been held, respectively. Social convention has engrained birthdays and wedding anniversaries into our collective psyche –to the point they almost feel natural. I chalk-it-off to a need for pretexts to celebrate –and there’s nothing wrong with a good celebration. But, when did work anniversaries become a thing? My lackadaisical approach to updating my LinkedIn profile (which has shown me as an “Independent Consultant”, since I left my former employer a year ago) has resulted in a plethora of eerily similar congratulatory notes this week (and no, they don’t read “ Update your LinkedIn profile, dummkopf! ”). A majority of well-wishers’ notes say  “ Congrats on the anniversary. Hope you’re doing well!” .  While I can certainly understand the socia

You're In Luck!

Friends, They say luck is the confluence of opportunity and preparation. That can certainly be said for a set of circumstances that happened to me whilst volunteering on the Safety Team at the Great American Beer Fest. As we were setting-up on opening day one of the organizers came to our group and asked for someone who spoke fluent Spanish. Naturally I stepped-up. It turns-out Telemundo, a Spanish language news station needed someone they could interview. So, I got my two seconds of fame talking about pretzel necklaces on a fluff piece about the GABF. Had preparation been absent (if I had I not been a volunteer, had I not known something about the beer fest and had I not spoken Spanish) I would not have been interviewed. Similarly, had opportunity not presented itself (the urgent request for a Spanish speaker) still nothing. The confluence of the two made this possible. This morning you have the opportunity (donuts have arrived) and the preparation (you’re here), so come get lucky.

On Travel, Perspective and Donuts

Friends, They say travel broadens your horizons and opens your mind. It gives you a new perspective on things and helps you challenge what's normal by exposing you to other norms . Perhaps that's why I found it somewhat amusing when I boarded a "French-made" A-320 (the word "made" sounds a lot like "maid"). Or the fact part of Atlanta's public transportation code of conduct forbids assaulting Marta employees (which felt oddly specific and seemed to leave the door open to assaulting fellow passengers). But beyond smirks and groans, the one takeaway for me is we all live on a small oasis in space and the accident of where on this planet we're born can have a huge impact on our views, values and our ability to meet our basic needs. The more I travel, the more I come to the conclusion borders should be criminalized (not the people crossing them). Freedom of movement and the ability to reside anywhere on the planet should be a human righ

There is no Donut!

Friends, We wander this changing world aboard these perishable vessels we call bodies, ceaselessly and inexorably rushing forward. We put-off the important because we're drowning in an endless stream of often self-imposed urgent activity. Menial tasks and superficial relationships are par for the course. It's easy to forget what truly matters as we let that person in the mirror become a stranger we struggle to recognize. Hairlines recede, waistbands expand. We worry our skin is getting looser while our clothes are getting tighter. We long to be somewhere or somewhen else, letting memories, aspirations and smartphones carry us away from the here and now. At some point we got so busy living we forgot to live. It’s like we’re waiting for something to wake us from our slumber. Well, consider this your wake-up call! Work on the things that will make a difference and check to make sure your chosen path leads to a destination you would like to reach. Open-up to those around you

Fair Dinings

Friends, Ever heard of the 'fair innings' principle? Until recently, I figured it was just another baseball thing. As it turns-out the term comes from cricket, but it’s not a sports thing at all. It's the idea that everyone is entitled to an equal amount of time under the sun. Sounds great, right? Sure, unless you use this criteria to ration scarce healthcare resources (the context in which this philosophical approach rears its ugly head). Suddenly, a terrifying corollary emerges: the longer and healthier life you've led, the lower priority treatment you should receive vis-a-vis younger patients who have not had their 'fair innings' -regardless of suffering, probability of recovery or future prospects. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want a loved one to be turned away from treatment because they've met their healthy life 'quota' -no matter how old they've become. Of course one paragraph is probably not enough time to give the iss

Fall Brings The Promise of Donuts

Friends, Despite signs that suggest we’re already there, fall starts next week. That time of year when the crisp bite of the fresh dawn air deposits fresh dew on the sweet vine-ripened grapes in my back yard. A time when the cooler weather makes me long for the bucolic sunsets at my father’s ranch. Darkness would awaken the fireflies which provided a fitting foreground to the myriad stars, framed by the tall peaks in that narrow mountain valley. Where my imagination could run rampant, foraging on some distant jungle or envisioning life in space. Ironic how today my imagination takes me to the place where I wondered about so many other places. And while memories and flights of fancy are fine and well, it is also important to mindfully enjoy the present. I recommend exercising this discipline by biting into a Holy Donut and immersing your senses in the flavor explosion. Happy Friday

Better Living Through Donut Expectations!

Friends How about them Broncos? Overcoming challenges, erasing a large deficit and, with a little help from lady luck, winning by a hair. The photo finish victory was made all that much sweeter by my low expectations. Better living, right? Well, sort of. While it is true that if we assume things will go poorly we are pleasantly surprised when they don’t, this only holds true if the person with the lowered expectations is not the one doing the work. If you watched the post-game interviews, nobody on the team had any doubts about Simeon. His teammates gleamed when speaking of his poise and how they were glad the world now sees what they did. If the Broncos had expected to lose, I imagine that would have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m sure there’s a moral there for all of us. Fortunately, you were not involved in the confection of the Holy Donuts I brought-in this morning so… go ahead, lower the bar! You might be pleasantly surprised when you take that first bite. Happy Friday

Donut 'bye week

Friends, I wish I could say that donuts are here, that donuts are near. Alas, not today! I’m working from home, rare as that may be, that’s us’lly not me, not in my genome. But, sorry my friend, you’re all on your own, so please don’t bemoan, and do comprehend. Next week we’ll resume the donut tradition, an all new rendition, so, no doom and gloom. I bid you adieu, a good labor day of course, happy Friday so long, toodaloo!

Terroriffic Donuts!

Friends, When I think of terrorism, the name ‘AL’ appears to have a long running association with fear. Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab have been grabbing the headlines of late, but the name has an entrenched association with dread. Have you heard of Al-Ḵwārizmī, whose ‘Algebra’ has been terrorizing teenagers for generations? Or Al Roker rubbing our face on everything from Superstorm Sandy to flooding in Louisiana -making us all a little agoraphobic? Then there’s Al Gore with his robotic mannerisms –making us all a little AlGorePhobic (alright that was bad). From weird Al Yankovik terrorizing songwriters by twisting their lyrics to Al Capone’s reign of terror in Chicago to Al Pacino’s “say hello to my li’l friend”... ‘nuff said! And although this alarming allegory may alienate a lot of Alberts, Alans and Alexanders, it's allegedly all a laughable anecdote (and a lamentable alliteration). Of course, there’s no AL connection to donuts -although they are “the bomb”. And while one of the d

Back to School Donuts

Friends, Kids are starting school, days are getting shorter and, driving in this morning, I had to wear a light jacket (granted it was early and I had the top down). Summer is winding-down and like most years I am amazed at how fast it went by. I will admit I’m looking forward to the milder weather and while I didn’t get everything I hoped done this summer, our family did a fair bit and we created some good memories. Of course stores are mostly done with their back to school shtick and will soon be decorating for Christmas. Meanwhile, have a donut – they go fast too, so you better hurry. Happy Friday!

Olympic Donuts -With a Twang!

Friends, It occurs to me that some words sound better when spoken in a specific accent. I’m not talking about words that are primarily used by people with that accent such as bespoke (London) or mate and sheila (Australia). I’m talking about rather ordinary words enhancing their appeal through an accent. Take the word loitering . Unremarkable, unless you use a Cockney accent. Or tonight’s meteor outburst, the perseids . The word sounds awkward, unless… you use the Queen’s English. Of course there are other words which don’t benefit from such a treatment. Take the word Olympics or the word donuts . Neither is improved by the use of an accent. They are, however, improved if you combine them in John Belushi’s classic (yet timely) Saturday Night Live skit: “ little chocolate donuts ”. As you make your way up to grab a donut, think of accent/word combinations you’d like to share. Happy Friday!

Donuts for Propeller Heads

Friends, When was the last time you were on a propeller plane? Personally, I had to go deep into the memory vault. It had been so long, in fact, I figured commercial airlines no longer used them. So, you can imagine my surprise this week when I boarded one. Looking out my propeller-side window I wondered what damage those man-sized weedwhacker asps were capable of inflicting as their droning noise gradually became the sole focus of everyone's attention. So loud, coherent thought became impossible, let alone a friendly conversation with your neighbor. With a cruising altitude of 100 feet (or at least it felt that way), the Dash 8-300 has the grace of a penguin walking, a giraffe swimming or a turkey flying. And loud, did I mention it was loud? The short hop across state lines was done in no time, but my eardrums took much longer to recover. Still, I survived and made it l back with a story, and with time to share some sweet pastries with you. There's a dozen dunkin' donuts

Donuts in Need of a Home

Friends, Walking down the streets of Chicago this week I saw a young man holding a cardboard box that read “begging and ashamed”. Now, I usually feel bad for folks who’ve resorted to panhandling -even if I sometimes wonder about their need. I wonder what it would be like to live on the street and imagine walking in their shoes -telling myself I would surely make the best of such circumstances. But when I saw this kid, something was different. Maybe it was his age (not much older than my own kids). Maybe it was just his demeanor (slouched so as to avoid eye contact). Whatever the reason, I started thinking he was someone’s kid. How must his parents feel? Did they know their son was in this situation? Were they unwilling or unable to help him? Then… I imagined this scruffy young man as my son. Bam! I was struck to the core. What if that was my kind, innocent, loving son driven by who-knows-what circumstances to beg? Ragged, tired and dirty on some strange sidewalk. Begging. That simp