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Showing posts from 2017

Doughnet Neutrality

Friends, The end of network neutrality has me thinking. If Internet content is like donuts and telecommunications networks are roads, then, the FCC’s new ruling has given the private road owners the ability to add tolls to their lanes -with a twist. The relevant tolls we’re talking about are for the side streets where people live. That’s the scarce resource, not the main freeways where excess capacity exists. If you are a donut delivery service you can either buy a toll pass to ensure your donuts get there while they’re still hot or you can take your chances on the free lanes. Your donuts will get there, perhaps a little cold, but they’ll still get there. Of course, now I’m thinking about real donuts, so I’m going to hit send and grab myself a sweet treat. They may not be hot, but they got here.
Happy Friday!

Donut Rate These!

Friends, Did you notice the scores for the building remodel at the Tabor Center are in? They’re posted permanently for all to see –and the judges were brutal! While I realize the project has taken an eternity and I appreciate the use of a prime number as the scale used, a two out of nineteen feels overly harsh. They have, after all, tried to be accommodating, closing-off construction zones and trying not to inconvenience tenants with work during the day. That ought to be worth three or four points at least. Then again, I can see where the judges are coming from. The lobby has, after all, been a construction zone for well over six months. On the other hand, the sunrise outside the Dunkin’ Donuts this morning was spectacular. In my humble opinion, it’s deserving of a perfect 13/13! As for the donuts, I will let you be the judge (all I ask is that you use a prime number scale to score your selection). Happy Friday!

Donuts in a New Light

Friends, Driving into Denver, I am often tempted to take-out my phone and snap a shot. Most often I check myself and forgo the phot opportunity. While safety is a concern, the biggest reason is that the angle on the lens, the quality of the sensor and the movement on the car make for disappointing results (buildings look small, shots look blurry and texture is grainy). There is this spot on 84th and I-25 where I have decided I need to bring a good camera with a longer lens and a tripod for sunrise photos. Another good view comes on the ramp from I-25 to Park Avenue. It’s this latter spot where I will sometimes indulge and sneak-a-pic. This week was unusual as I gave-in twice. Wednesday, the clouds painted the city a tangerine orange and yesterday, the cloudless sunrise made the buildings glisten like jewels on silk. These dramatic changes in appearance for what is basically the same cityscape got me thinking about light and perspective. Were days gone by really better, or is the fact…

Grateful Despite no Donuts

Friends,
For this holiday, I decided to take advantage of the ridiculously cheap travel airlines afford parents of employees who choose to fly standby (i.e. yours truly). The way I saw it, this is low season for International travel, so flying to Ecuador would not be an issue. I would fly to Houston on Monday’s first flight out, spend the day working from the airport and travel to Ecuador at 6:30 PM. As for the Thanksgiving rush on the domestic leg, even if it was tight, people always oversleep and miss early trips. Besides, I can always catch the next flight. Right? I woke at 3 AM, and after a nice breakfast at the airport made my way to the gate. 5:39 AM flight sold-out and I was 11th on the standby list. 7:53 AM full, 7th on standby. 10:03 AM full, 13th on standby. 12:30 PM full, 9th on standby. 2:05 PM, the last possible flight if I’m to make my connection, full and I’m 11th on standby. I explain my situation to the kind lady and ask if there is any way to pay more to move-up on t…

Tax Cut = Donut Cut?

Friends, With tax reform high on congress’ agenda, I’ve been thinking about how and why the government gets and spends money. In the U.S., the federal government  gets most of the money from various taxes (the rest, about 15% comes from borrowing). So, when it comes down to it, we’re buying a common good, the “things” (goods and services) on which they are spending our money. Most of it (65%) goes towards Social Security, unemployment, Medicare, health and veterans’ benefits. Another 15% goes towards the military and 6% goes towards debt and interest. The remaining 13% goes to everything else (for the OCD among you, I realize my math only adds-up to 99%, but that’s due to rounding). If you think of this as an income statement, then lower prices (a lower tax rate) will translate to less revenue (taxes) unless you can get more unit sales (a higher GDP growth rate). On that latter point, the U.S. economy has grown an average of 1.9% in the 2000s. Proponents of the plan say growth would …

White Flour Donuts of Color

Friends, As a whiteperson of color, I’ve always been somewhat irked by the compulsion to categorize people into neat boxes. Most people don’t fit neatly into boxes. When given a choice between “white” or “Hispanic” (check one), I realized these boxes provide a false choice.  Why does the government care what category I opt into? The way I see it, these questions on so many forms probably don’t cause division and social injustice, but they do keep the conversation going. I propose a write-in campaign (similar to elections). Most of these forms now contain an “Other” field where you can write-in your ethnic or racial background. What if we all wrote-in “Transracial”. If one or two of us do it, no big deal. If it catches-on, maybe someone will take notice and report on how silly this categorization variable is. Speaking of boxes, a dozen donut box is sitting in its usual spot, so come get your transracial self some sugar!
Happy Friday!

Of Mergers and Donuts

Friends, This week marked the completion of CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. This transaction combines my most recent former employers accounting for 17 years of my career. It gives Level 3 the opportunity to rid itself of the brackets in its logo (the universal symbol for negative financial results) and CenturyLink the opportunity to rid itself of Glen Post.  As the two companies work to integrate, they will have several considerations to make. A name. If recent history is any indication, the name will likely be CenturyLink. Still, we in the peanut gallery like to contemplate the possibilities. Since a century is 100 years, why not combine the numbers in both companies’ names. How about we call the company 300 (100 x 3) --a valiant, yet doomed group of people.Integration. Having unofficially coined the terms red and blue network when executives said we have to stop using the terms Level 3 and Global Crossing networks, I feel like the conventio…

Headphones and Donuts

Friends, Ever wonder why headphones are labelled “right” and “left”? Sure, the sound coming-out of each miniature speaker is different, however, why does it matter which sound comes-in which ear? Would having my right headphone in my left ear (and vice-versa) while listening to Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ make me feel like I have my back to the stage? Will Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’s subliminal messaging be less effective? (listen around minute 1 of the track played backwards and tell me you don’t hear it). When I listen to Joe Walsh’s ‘Life’s Been Good’ with my headphones “backwards”, will hearing “everybody say ‘oh yeah’” with my right ear instead of the intended left change my political leanings? Perhaps there’s a risk to having the same sounds in the same ear every time. Might there be a brain-saving benefit to sometimes having the vocals in old Beatles records coming-in the left ear instead of the right? Unless someone can give me a good reason to care, I plan to take less ca…

Earth, Wind, Fire and Donuts

Friends, What a morning! Trees seem made of candy corn, chocolate cake and red licorice; a crisp breeze blows in the cloudless sky while the sun reminds us it’s good to be alive! On a perfect fall morning like today’s, it’s easy to ignore the disruptive force of Earth, Wind and Fire. No, this is not a reference to the combined Earthlink, Windstream and Broadview -whose momentum could well be characterized as being on Fire! I’m talking about the Earthquake that devastated Mexico; the hurricane-strength Wind that destroyed parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean; and, of course, the Fires which burned through northern California and wilderness across many western states. And even though they did not all happen in September (I know, a not-so-subtle Earth, Wind and Fire reference), they all happened far from Colorado. We were spared, and should be grateful for that. We should also consider ways to help those who weren’t as lucky -perhaps over a donut (hint, there’s a dozen…

Mystical Donuts!

Friends, For a society that claims to dislike math we sure do put a lot of numbers on things. We try to measure people –height (Ft.), weight (Lb.), age (Yr.) and money ($), yet we fail to put a number on the ultimate measure of a man… “where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” -Martin Luther King, Jr. We measure beer –alcohol (ABV), bitterness (IBU) and color (SRM), yet we forget that “whoever drinks beer, is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven!” -Marin Luther. We measure music (bars) and buildings (square feet), yet we forget that “talking about music is like dancing about architecture” -Steve Martin. Some of you might even be counting how many times I’ve quoted someone named Martin (3). A problem with all this counting is that these attempts to demystify often oversimplify that which we measure. Perhaps that’s why we have yet to put a number on things like love, hope, faith, freedom, happiness and luck –the latter imme…

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

Friends, Sometimes, heat can be a good thing. A hot day at the beach with a cold brew in your hand is awesome. If someone thinks you're "so hot!", that's a compliment. And, hot breakfast is a treat. Sometimes, it's not. A heat wave, especially if it's accompanied by humidity is suffocating. A hot-headed person is undesirable. And of course, no one wants to be left holding a hot potato. This morning when the temperature gauge on my vehicle read 260 degrees, I knew right away it was the latter kind of heat. Fortunately, donuts taste great at room temperature. Sorry for the delay and enjoy!
Happy Friday!

Divisive Donuts? That's an Oxymoron!

Friends, It occurs to me national coffee day is a great opportunity for the Russian twitter bots that have been seeking to divide our great nation to put another chink in the armor of western democracy. I propose two new hash tags we can rally behind (depending on our views): #TakeASip and #CaffeineIsaPED. Like coffee? Take a sip! Don’t like coffee? Frown upon those who do by calling it a performance enhancing drug! Or, we could all respect each others’ views and put such silliness behind us over a donut. On this my last day as a 49 year old, I brought in a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts. So, come grab one –or exercise your right to abstain from processed foods, up to you.
Happy Friday!

Today is Half-Fall!

Friends,
The equinox is an awkward day. Half-summer and half-fall, it is both yet neither. It brings that elusive perfect balance of daytime and nighttime, blanketing the whole world and everyone in it with the same number of daylight minutes. On this last summer’s aurora, I admired phosphor during my pre-dawn jog and felt the crisp air had just the right bite. As seasons change, it occurs to me change is a necessity for living things. Sure, it is tempting to try to hang-on to what was, still, I prefer to think of today as half-fall -I suppose that makes me an uptimist. As we mull modifications of all sorts, it is comforting to rely on the comfort food that has become somewhat of a constant Friday morning staple. So, come enjoy a warm beverage of your choice and a donut and look ahead with me to the beautiful season ahead. Happy Friday!

Ring, Ring!

Friends, Last night around 2:55 AM, the space probe Cassini intentionally crashed into Saturn and was destroyed in its atmosphere –may she rest in pieces. Earth’s six ton envoy orbited the gas giant for 13 years, making fascinating discoveries. Seven new moons, extraterrestrial liquid lakes (on the moon Titan) and a salty ocean (in the moon Enceladus). Through its eyes we saw the hexagonal north pole storm change colors, the honeycomb structures of Hyperion riddle us, the dumpling-shaped moon Pan make us salivate and solved the mystery of the Ying Yang moon Iapetus. Of all the pictures this scientific station sent, my favorite was taken on July 19, 2013. I hope you were looking up and smiling because the white spec seen below the rings is Earth -i.e. us! (think of Cassini as a $3.26 Billion selfie stick). Then there were the myriad detailed images of the donut-like Cronian rings, which bring me to the reason for this note. In honor of this historic event, this morning we have a dozen p…

Donuts Arrived, Consume Avidly (DACA)

Friends, Sorry for such a long-winded and weighty note on a donut Friday. As an Immigrant, I may be overly-sensitive to the current immigration debate, recently fueled by President Trump’s ending of DACA, so I felt compelled to get my thoughts out there. I won’t dwell on technicalities (i.e. whether the executive branch has the authority to implement a policy that contravenes the legislative framework we live under) and will forgo the “dreamers are a sympathetic group” window dressing. I will focus, instead, on trying to debunk some of the misconceptions and myths that seem to be the basis for our inability to pass comprehensive, humane immigration reform. I respectfully submit these views as my own and I understand reasonable people can see things from different perspectives. I don’t expect anyone else to agree with me and I certainly won’t count it against you if you don’t. As I see it, there are five fallacies that anchor the views of those who would oppose changing the status quo…

A Day to Honor Birthing Pains

Friends, If anyone deserves a holiday it’s women in labor. And, alas, they got one! On Monday we celebrate that experience which is, allegedly, almost as painful as the common cold is to men. As to why the 50% of the population that is incapable of sustaining this experience gets to share in the R&R that comes from this obligatory day off, I suppose it’s one of life’s mysteries -like why the tooth fairy doesn’t give adults who lose teeth money. Whatever the reason, I hope your plans for the long weekend include a moment to thank all the mothers who underwent labor so you and I could be here today. I also hope they include you swinging-by the office today so you could get a donut.
Happy Friday!

Smarter Donuts

Friends, Spammers think I’m dumb. Literally. The preponderance of my spam promotes pills to make me smarter (328% smarter by one account!). The exception was an offer to outfit me with the ultimate power-woman wardrobe –how do they know I don’t have one?— but, I digress. I suppose that means they’ve realized I don’t suffer from E.D., that I’m not interested in a Russian paramour’s risqué pictures, don’t trade on anonymous insider information and don’t care to help them abscond gold from an African autocracy. These pills sound too good to be true. A feeble minded person (IQ ≤70) need only double their IQ to become a genius (IQ ≥140), and even if the alleged 4x IQ boost came from a baseline of severe retardation (IQ 40), the pill taker would become Stephen-Hawking-smart (IQ 160). So, I can’t help but wonder why these spammers are not consuming their own product. If they were, they could surely improve their grammar, imagine a more compelling sales pitch and figure-out a way to prevent …

Donut Conundrum

Friends, If I were to give you my Rocky Mountain National Park landscape print by Ansel Adams, you'd be a work-of-art richer and I'd be a wall decoration poorer. Common sense, right? Yet, every day that print hangs on my wall it becomes less novel and delivers slightly less enjoyment to me. On the other hand, in gifting it to you, I gain your priceless reaction and your gratitude. Furthermore, your relative enjoyment of the photo would surely be greater than mine (due to the novelty) and I would still get to keep my memories of that print. It seems to me that act of giving generates greater utility across both the giver and the receiver than would clinging to my precious possession. I suppose that's why they say it's better to give than to receive. It's so simple, yet that's not how we behave at all. We work so hard to grow our collection of material goods -and take them for granted the minute we acquire them- as our rainy day fund approaches great flood prepa…

Taita Donuts!

Friends,
Tuesday, I took the opportunity to go on a hike I’d been longing to enjoy with my daughter. It had been over a decade since I ventured up the seldom trekked eight mile, 2,500 ft. vertical gain route to 13,000 foot high lake Taita Chugo. The route starts innocently enough with a scenic drive down a stone-paved backcountry road which ends at lake Llaviuco. Walk through the natural vegetation tunnel, past the lake and you’re officially on the trail. The first couple of miles are a stroll up a gently sloping narrow river valley, framed by two rugged mountains. At 11,000 feet, the crisp early morning air and overnight dew soon prove the running shoes and jeans a poor choice of attire. By the time we reach the cliff-framed waterfall that marks the transition to the intermediate stage, we’re drenched from the waist down. Fortunately, the activity keeps us warm, so we venture into the cloud forest, up a thin black mud path that might pass for a game trail. If fairies and elves exist…

Of Doors and Donuts

Friends,
They say eyes are the door to the soul. I think doors are the door the soul –of a city.
Take the side door (holy door) to the city’s cathedral. There are at least a dozen churches I can think of in the downtown area. Throw a stone and you might hit one. I have yet to find a town with such a high church density as Cuenca. Speaks to a pious culture. The beautiful metalwork on the second door doubles as security. Despite being such a devout town, every glass surface in town has bars (or doors that close at night) to prevent breaking and entering and every house has a stone and/or metal fence. Speaks to the culture’s views on theft.  Door three reflects the traditional building material (adobe) and brings us back to the fact some abodes are humbler than others. In Cuenca it is not uncommon to find a wealthy family living next door to a poor family. Speaks to a higher tolerance and empathy among social classes.  The final door is gratuitous. Speaks to my sense of whimsy.
And speaking …

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!

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 …

The Future of Donuts

Friends, How will our lives be different in ten years? We’ll be older, sure, but what technological breakthroughs will drastically change the way we do things? It seems to me that we are reasonably good at predicting incremental change. When I tell folks bandwidth demands will increase, security needs will be more complex and reliability will be more important, I’m simply projecting longstanding trends. Electronics get smaller, pixel density gets larger and processors get faster. Change is gradual… until it’s not. Although I’m afraid I may not be visionary enough, here are some thoughts of what may be coming. Windowless cars. As our vehicles start to drive themselves and talk to other vehicles, traffic will speed-up and the need to stop (or even slow down) at intersections diminishes. In general, watching this as a hapless passenger is going to be scary, so why not replace the windshield with a screen so we don’t have to watch. These windowless cars would rely on artificial intelligen…

Muffins and Covfefe

Friends, I’m surprised that none of those trolling POTUS over the Covfefe tweet have suggested an acronym-related explanation. After all, he is the commander in chief, and much like telecom, the military is replete with acronyms and abbreviations. Here are some plausible explanations. ·A new top secret chemical weapon, inadvertently referenced due to an innate desire to Brag –it would explain the ensuing “oops” silence. Referenced by its chemical elements: Cobalt Vanadium di-Iron (CoVFeFe or CoVFe2). ·He may have been talking about the border wall: Concrete Obstacle Visioned to Forcefully Exclude Foreign Entry ·It could be that he was contemplating a new shorthand that packs a high concentration of superlatives. Charming Outrageously Very Fabulous Extremely Fantastic Eyepopping (which could be followed by any noun) ·It’s possible he was explaining the rationale for leaving the Paris accord: Climate Optimistic Views Fiercely Avoiding Factual Evidence ·It could also be a new telecom techno…

Designer Donuts

Friends,
A brand is a powerful thing. It succinctly conveys a large range of attributes, often charged with an array of values and emotions. By and large, brands stay within the narrow confines set forth by the company’s primary line of business. Tide, BF Goodrich and Starbucks are all examples of rule-abiding brands. They are well recognized, yet their association is specific to soap, tires and coffee -respectively. Sometimes, brands transcend. These special brands are generally synonymous with an attitude or a lifestyle. Think Harley Davidson clothing or the Ducks Unlimited edition Chevy Silverado. Their initial association with motorcycles and wetland conservation have broadened to appeal to the wannabe outlaw biker and nature-loving outdoorsman respectively. Another iconic brand, Nordstrom’s, is delving beyond their comfort zone to see whether their brand appeal extends outside the proverbial big box. They are venturing into the realm of designer donuts. So, slick your hair with …

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Friends, When I wrote this week’s Stream post making a shocking admission concerning baseball, little did I know there would be some baseball karma following me around. 6:00 AM, I leave the house bright and early, looking to beat traffic and get the best donut selection at the usual spot. Unbeknownst to me, Holy Donuts closed their doors this week for an unannounced Spring Break. Strike 1! So I decide to drive down to Habit Donuts, after all, it is not a big detour and they have some awesome treats. 6:30 AM, I arrive only to find-out they open at 7:00. Strike 2!! I’m getting a little nervous. I’m downtown, somewhat of a donut desert. Any donut shop I drive to next will be a detour. So I decide to try LaMar’s off of Santa Fe and 6th Ave. (fortunately it’s still early and I’ve got some time). Home run!!! If you decided to brave the elements (it’s really not that bad out there), your courage is about to be rewarded with some delicious deep-fried dough.
Happy Friday!

Companies Begging for Spokepersons

Friends, When you hear certain letter combinations in brand names, do you ever catch yourself thinking of the perfect spokesperson? I must confess this sometimes happens to me. Here are a few that hit me this week: Progressive Insurance – Sean Connery. It’s just the perfect combination of “R” and “S” sounds.Noosa Yoghurt – Jar Jar Binks. Yousa agree?Magoosh Test Prep – Jack Black. Think Kung Fu Panda pinky grip.
As for Holy Donuts, the purveyor of this morning’s treats, I’ve been debating between John Cleese --perfect English accent—and Frances McDonald as Marge Gunderson, the police officer in the movie Fargo –those “O” sounds are just begging to be messed with. Any others come to mind?
Happy Friday!

Donut Inspiration

Friends, People sometimes ask about the writing process for my “donut manifestos”. Many assume I have a dossier of drafts queued-up in cold storage, waiting to be used. Most are surprised to learn I usually write them when I arrive at the office on Friday morning. Granted, I sometimes get an idea early in the week, but, more often than not, inspiration strikes on the drive to work. When it comes to creativity, I think it is good to remain open to ideas. As Mo’at, the sage in James Cameron’s Avatar put it “it’s hard to fill a cup that’s already full”. Remember that meeting where you wanted to sound smart so you neglected to hear what the person preceding you was saying because you were too busy preparing your own statement? Inspiration and writing are often mutually exclusive. Once I start writing, focus demands I shut-out a broad range of new ideas. So, I try to stay open until the last minute and then I decide what to write about. Sounds risky, but I feel it’s the best approach. Sur…

Seize the Moment

Friends,
Life is a succession of fleeting moments. Between these moments is change. Sometimes, this change is imperceptible, giving us the illusion of permanence. Mountains seem immutable despite being exposed to the competing forces of tectonic shift and erosion. Sequoias, yews and bristlecone pines can live thousands of years, so we presume they will always be there. Sometimes, change is quick. Blink and you missed it. Yesterday whilst running on the lake Michigan shore, I noticed a rainbow forming. I took my camera out and snapped a panoramic photo. Before I could snap a second, it was gone. Had I not looked up at that precise moment I would have missed it. The moral of the story is to enjoy this moment, you never know what might change. The corollary is that if you see a donut you like, take it before someone else does. I’m mixing it up this morning with some Dunkin’ (keeping with the running theme, I suppose J) Happy Friday!

Of Expiration Dates, Drugs and Donuts

Friends, Expiration dates have always been somewhat ominous. Once something expires, suddenly, it’s dangerous. Expired canned food can give you botulism. Expired chicken can give you salmonella. That’s why it feels somewhat ironic that the state of Arkansas is trying to go on an execution extravaganza on account of a nearing expiration date for one of its lethal injection drugs. Drugs are already dangerous -we’ve been warned against them all our lives. Won’t letting them expire make them even more dangerous? Speaking of drugs, if yesterday was unofficial marihuana day, then today must be unofficial munchies day. Fortuitously, it’s also Friday which means there’s a dozen donuts waiting here for you. What’s more, they’re fresh, so, regardless of what’s driving your appetite, come grab one (or two) -I can assure you they’re safe.
Happy Friday!

Good Donuts for Good Friday

Friends, Why do humans have such a propensity for discontent? No matter the achievement, no matter the progress, soon enough, it’s not enough. Discontent amongst heads of state leads to war, famine, disease and untimely death. And it’s not limited to the elite. Closer to home fighting, burglary and murder seem so unnecessary and preventable. If we let it, this unfillable void could drive us all ragged. They say the average citizen in the developed world has a higher standard of living than medieval royalty, yet we demand ever bigger TVs, faster computers and more luxurious cars. This season of hope, I propose we pause and take stock of our blessings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all become hippies and settle for mediocrity -just, maybe, envy a little less. Be grateful for life, health and, of course, Holy donuts. If we all did that a little more, I think the world would be a much better place.
Happy Friday!

Attractive Donuts

Friends, What makes something or someone attractive? Symmetry, texture and contrast no doubt play a role. Social conventions, mores and tabu also factor in. Imagine. A bright sunset over the Rockies, casting long shadows and painting the clouds gold, fuchsia and orange. Beautiful. Over-the-knee boots, a short skirt and a turtleneck Casimir sweater. Hot! Me wearing them. Not so much. Whether your image of sexy is a long sleeve shirt loosely draped over a model's shoulders -with not much else on or a smooth sax solo on a Barry White ballad, I think we can all agree a fresh dozen donuts is a sight to behold. Sexy! So, to all you beauty lovers out there I say, behold the Holy Donuts -and grab one while you're at it.
Happy Friday!

Timing is Everything

Friends, So this morning when I got up (I’m off today, so I’m off to a late start), I read about a fire in Atlanta which darkened the skies, made an overpass on I-85 collapse and has created a traffic nightmare for weeks to come. As it so happens, I had driven that route less than 24 hours earlier on my way to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Wednesday night. Imagine if my flight back would have been a day later. Timing is everything! Speaking of which, as you might of guessed, I regret to say I don’t have any donuts for you today.  Still, I hope you have a happy Friday!

The Comet Strategy for Mature Products

Friends, Looking at the expiration date on my Costco multi-vitamins it occurred to me that getting 500 at a time may not be such a good deal after all. It calls to mind the Comet powder strategy for mature products. In case you have not heard the story, legend has it that P&G was looking for ways to sell more Comet to an already saturated market when a clever product manager came-up with the idea to put eight holes on the top of the container instead of six –so more powder would come out each time it was used. Needless to say this resulted in higher sales. There’s evidence of this “sell them more than they need” approach all around us. Yesterday, while having lunch at Ostaria Marco’s I found I could only eat half of my personal pizza and two of the three colleagues with me didn’t appear to make much of a dent in their gigantic salads either. I figured I’d apply the same strategy to donuts this morning. Despite the looming spring break, I figured I would not deviate from the dozen…

Green Donuts!

Friends, Has society taken St. Patrick’s day a tad too far? What with the ubiquitous Walmart t-shirts boasting clever slogans like “I pinch back” or “Make St. Patrick’s day great again”, it’s gotten to a point where forgetting to wear green can make one feel as wanted as a frequent flyer with a Samsung galaxy note 7. Then there’s the green bowler hats, shamrocks galore, parades and let’s not forget green beer. Granted, I have yet to see any green light sets for sale, so perhaps that’s a sign we can take it further. In-fact there may be a whole segment of the market ready to be tapped with leprechaun projectors for your garage door, blarney castle-shaped green candy dispensers and gag snakes to freak-out that overly sensitive colleague. It is, after all, the American way –go big or go home, I say! I can see it now: fake red beards, green feather boas, body paint kits with clover-shaped stencils and collector’s edition vinyl records with 20 different versions of Danny Boy. We can throw…

Happy National Mario Day!

Friends, It seems there is a day for just about everything. Women’s day just passed, drunken Irish day is a week away, heck, today is Mario day! Looking at the U.N. calendar of world days there are days for human space flight (April 12th), midwives (May 5th) and the succinctly named “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination – day 4” (March 24th). Despite the great variety of themes for days (and weeks and months), I believe I have identified a void. There is no Male W.A.S.P. (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) day. Say what you will, but if typewriters get a day (June 23rd), why not the Male WASP? The idea came to me last night as I was enjoying the sunset colors and cloud formation when, suddenly, there it was. An image of a WASP that has been incessantly taking the headlines for the past few months. I won’t name names, but su…

Caught In The Act

Friends, Have you ever been caught red-handed? One late night you forget to lock your bedroom door and your child walks in on you. There is an ensuing awkward pause while everything sinks in. You rush to hide the evidence but it's too late, they've seen too much. You and your significant other, in bed next to each other, caught reading your Facebook feeds at your smart phones. The shame! Nobody wants their kids to remember them that way. Fortunately, there is no shame in consuming a donut and there are a dozen Holy Donuts waiting for you to make your move. Enjoy! Happy Friday!

Donutism

Friends, Is  patriotism love of country or pride in country? True love is incompatible with fear and hate. Pride, on the other hand, is not. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins -the opposite of humility. Pride also comes before a fall. So, does your patriotism include the fear (and potentially hatred) of other countries? If so, there’s a better word for it: Nationalism, patriotism’s ugly sibling. Nationalism leads to isolation, stagnation and, ultimately, war. When it comes down to brass tacks, it’s really a form of populism (the manipulative circus of “us vs. them”). Since the suffix “ism” can be good or bad –depending on how it’s used—this morning I thought I’d conduct an experiment. I have mixed things up and brought-in a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts to find-out how you define Donutism. I’d like to see whether you embrace these new Donuts, or whether you discriminate against them for not being Holy Donuts. Happy Friday!

Valentine's Donuts

Friends, With Valentine’s day just behind us, this morning I thought I’d attempt to write a love poem. Here goes nothing:
My eyes have gazed and seen perfection Your curves so tight Your aroma fills me with intoxication My impulses, I can’t fight
When I can’t see you, I long for the day Your absence is torture Yet fate has decided that only Friday The day of good fortune
Though my thoughts may wander a plenty When writing about thee Without you my words would ring empty You’re fulfillment to me
You’re here and I feel the elation So comely and sweet Your sugar will increase my elevation My donuts, my treat!
Alright, I’ll keep the day job.
Happy Friday!