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Showing posts from 2018

The End of Innocence

Friends, Where I come from, December 28 th marks the celebration of the Holy innocents. This day, remembering the innocents killed by Herod in his attempt to kill Jesus, is an unlikely amalgamation of Halloween and April Fool’s day. Growing-up, Halloween wasn’t a thing. The day to dress-up and go about town was “el día de los Inocentes”. Today, add a healthy dose of skepticism to what you read in Ecuadorian newspapers or hear from friends. Your innocence and naiveté may well be put to the test. In the spirit of the day, I regret to inform you Dunkin Donuts will be closing its doors forever at the end of the year, so stock-up on your favorite treat before they’re gone. Happy Friday!

Rhyme of the Ancient Donuteer

Friends, It’s that time of year When daylight grows longer And hope makes you stronger The solstice is here It’s officially winter We’re finally there Palpable relief in the air From that dreaded mental splinter Five hours and thirty eight minutes That’s how much daylight will be won By June twenty one That’s more than just peanuts Embrace the new season The snow, ice and sleet Put boots on your feet It’s here for a reason Forgive my poor rhyming I need me a donut and hope you’re also on it That would be great timing Happy Friday!

Spellbound Donuts

Friends, Spelling matters. Whether you’re speaking of Mueller’s special counsel (not council) or the Marine Corps (not Core), misspelling a word can give the wrong impression, and even change what you’re saying. In an era where text communications dominate our lives, it’s more than a tad ironic that the words we text get butchered so much. Ponder this on your next brake as you sip on a smocking hot cup of covfefe –and perhaps nibble on a donut (or is it doughnut?). Happy Friday!

Change for the Better

Friends, It’s tempting to see this life as unending and ourselves as unchanging. We know that’s not the case, but we try not to think about it –and since we don’t feel different from one moment to the next, the tiny changes don’t register. Still, these changes add-up. After sporting a beard for a few months, this week I shaved and noticed my face looked different. Of course, you say, the facial hair was gone! Yes, but also, the reflection in the mirror seemed a little older than I expected. A reminder to make the most of each moment. To focus. To be present. To make it matter. Change is unavoidable and embracing it is a rational choice. Right now is the time to make your legacy. So grab a donut and make it happen. Happy Friday!

The life without donuts is not worth living

Friends, In this hyper-connected, über-kinetic world we live in, it’s easy to lose your bearings. One can be forgiven for getting confused now and again. Like the time I accepted a job in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming), thinking I’d be going to Yosemite National Park (California). Or the time I had a meeting at Inverness Park (south Denver) and arrived promptly at Interlocken Park (north Denver). We live in a complex world and often fall into the trap at judging things too quickly -then moving on (who has time to examine everything anyway?).  Expert after expert tell us it’s more effective to take a step back, deconstruct the problem and challenge our assumptions –but these experts don’t have 200+ e-mails sitting in their inbox every day. And so, we continue to think in a linear fashion. To borrow process reengineering speak, we pave cow paths instead of engineering efficient roads. In this time of year when we start to consider new year’s resolutions, I hope you will take som

Character Flaws

Friends, You don’t need me to tell you books are great. They expand our worldview and take us to places we might otherwise never visit. Their characters can be fascinating. A good book has a well-rounded cast of characters with nuances and complexities that allow us to empathize with the villains and wonder about the heroes. But the characters in even the best written books share a flaw –and, no, I’m not talking about character flaws. Despite the author’s best intentions, they all come from the mind of a single individual and are subject to that person’s stereotypes, thought process and subconscious biases. They all fall within what the author can conceive and, therefore share the same “DNA”. I suppose you could say they are all made in their creator’s image. On the bright side, this flaw helps storylines be cohesive. I wonder if it’s possible to write a book where each character is penned by a different author (perhaps there are some like that out there already). It would be like

Time Traveling Donuts

Friends, General relativity has some weird implications. Concepts like length contraction (the faster you go the shorter you get) and a speed limit for the universe (how fast light moves in a vacuum) are among the counterintuitive implications of Einstein’s theory. Lately, I’ve been pondering time dilation. The notion that time can move slower for super-fast moving objects, or for objects that are subjected to immense gravity. Moving at the speed of light or standing at the event horizon of a black hole, time stands still. But what if the minimum speed limit for time isn’t zero? What if it were possible to make time move backwards? Suppose you start moving faster than light. Would your watch run counterclockwise? Might that explain dark matter… is it just regular matter moving backwards in time? Could the same be true for gravity? Once you reach infinite gravity, you cross a threshold where time moves backwards? Might that explain dark energy –the force that is tearing the universe

Banana Donuts?

Friends, Scrolling down my Facebook feed I had to do a double-take. There was Deepak Chopra with the quote “65% of your genes are the same as a banana”. Was this the beginning of a put-down match? Was he going to follow it up with a “yo momma” joke? Of course, I had to watch the video. Disappointingly, it turned-out to be an inspirational speech. You know, the “you’re special because you’re made of stardust” kind. I guess it was too much to hope for. Mr. Chopra in a duel of words with some hoodlum… or, even better, the Dalai Lama. Deepak would volley “What’s furry and spits? Yo momma, ‘cuz she’s a Llama”. Dalai would respond “That’s all you got? You need to Deepak your bags and go home. ‘Cuz that was lame”. I guess you can’t find everything on the Internet –yet. I wonder what percentage of my genes are the same as a donut. I’m guessing it’s more like 66% (closer than a banana). Whatever it is, I hope you grab one. Who knows, it might inspire you to enter a battle of words (or wri

Putting the WE in Halloween

Friends, It’s unclear to me whether the elaborate displays and decorations we put-up for All Hallows Eve effectively stave off of the spirits of the recently deceased which are supposed to meander among us this time of year. I, for one, haven’t seen any ghosts, so I suppose they must be working. That said, if these spirits are from people familiar with our traditions, how is it our displays are effective at scaring them away? Don’t they know better? Regardless, it’s fun to watch people go all-out for Halloween. I admire folks who put-up elaborate front lawn graveyards, garage horror houses or other elaborate displays. Personally, I’m more of an inside joke decorator. Lower quantity and a little more nuanced than the all-out folks I hold in high regard. Whether it be my PacMan parody of the popular ‘ghosts hanging from the trees’ theme (left) or hiding the WE logo in the word Halloween for our Denver north office’s entry at the Spaces door decoration contest, I like to put-up disp

Lessons from Political Ads

Friends, As a political battleground state, Colorado has the joy of being bombarded with political ads. I’ve noticed a few genres. There is the ‘tell so-and-so not to kill baby seals’ (or some other terrible act). There’s the ‘she’s out of touch/dangerous for Colorado’. There’s also the rare ‘vote for me because I’m awesome’. My favorite, though, is the casual conversation ad, often used to support or oppose a ballot proposition. You’ve probably seen them. Two people engaged in a conversation, one of whom has a strong opinion about a measure while the other listens, agrees and states they will vote the same way. Hundreds of thousands (often millions) of dollars spent to model a conversation I can’t relate to or imagine ever having. Makes me wonder if they’ve ever worked. They must, otherwise why would special interests spend so much money? Let’s try one. [Setting: two people standing next to a break room table]. [Person 1]: Hey Pat, those donuts look delicious, mind if I have

Donut Mess With Me!

Friends, Messing with people’s minds can be fun. You know, the way a public radio program director plays the ‘support for NPR comes from…’ advert, immediately followed by a fund drive –no news for you mister! Lately, I’ve been tempted to go down to their level and engage in similarly despicable tactics. Here’s a few ideas: Have you seen the Italian American custom license plates? You know the ones with a little American flag next to a little Italian flag centered in the frame. Well, what if we painted an even smaller emblem of a brown eagle sitting on a cactus in the white space of the green white and red? It doesn’t even have to be that detailed, just a few strokes and, voila, they’re now proud of their Mexican American heritage. Adopt a random conspiracy theory and defend it. Admit it, that could be a lot of fun. As a conspiracy theorist, you are now allowed to believe in any preposterous notion and dismiss any inconvenient evidence

Name That Thing

Friends, Names. Funny things, names. They comfort us, giving us the illusion of control. Naming something allows us to put it in a box and somehow tame it. With a name comes a sense of measure, understanding and normalcy. I think names can rob us of something primeval. Imagine a little understood mysterious force of unknown origin accelerating the expansion of the universe and cleaving it apart at the seams. Now imagine dark energy. By giving it a name, you’ve deprived it of mystery and magic and confined it to the mundane. So many incurable diseases, all named to comfort the patients –it has a name, so we must know what to do about it. Heck, the name “disease” itself helps us hope for a cure. Would you rather go to an unspoiled wilderness where uncontacted civilizations still loom large and piranhas can eat you alive or would you rather go to the Amazon? I suppose Prince was onto something. Maybe it’s the donut I ate that’s talking. Then again. maybe it’s that first magical bite i

Fall into Autumn

Friends, I’m thinking I might be a middle-of-the-road kind of guy –everything in moderation. I go to bed around 10 PM -not too early or late. I don’t like beverages that are scalding hot or ice cold. When it comes to politics and policy, I think we should start a golden rule party –treat everyone the way we would wish to be treated if we were in their shoes. Goldie Locks was onto something. I suppose that’s why I like autumn. No blazing summer heat or chilling winter cold for me. Crisp morning air, cloud-dotted blue skies, leaf-carrying breezes and football are just what the doctor ordered. Few things beat a warm cup of cocoa, surrounded by family around an early evening bonfire. I suppose if you added a donut to the mix it would be just right. Aside from donuts, what are your favorite fall follies? Happy Friday!

Donutectomy

Friends, Did you hear Weight Watchers is changing its name to WW? There must be a really good reason to depart from a well-known brand and create the potential confusion with Windstream’s own wholesale division (which also uses those two letters as one of its marks) . It would appear helping people know what you do as part of your name is going out of fashion. KFC had Fried Chicken surgically removed from its name and Starbucks no longer sports the word Coffee in its logo. Heck, even Jo-Ann excised the word Fabrics from its name. Of course the most galling of them all is Dunkin’. Yes, as of January 1 st 2019, they will perform a Donutectomy to their name. Kind of makes me glad I’m working from home today so I don’t have to stop by their store and get all nostalgic. Happy Friday!!

Donuts with a Purpose

Friends, Purpose. Granted, not everything has one, however, many do. Sometimes there is a good reason for doing something, although it is not apparent. Take, for instance, the Great American Beer Fest’s Safety Team deployment at the Denver Convention Center’s exit stairwell. The common perception is we’re there to catch folks who roll down the stairs. Not so. While this is a reasonable assumption –imagine 15,000 rambunctious folks who may have imbibed several too many 1 oz. beers, storming down this massive stairwell. Not ideal. Once a person starts rolling down, they become a bowling ball and anyone trying to catch them is a pin. Instead, this is your proverbial 1 oz. of prevention. The thing is, to the impaired mind, sliding down a railing sounds fun, not dangerous. So, having someone block each of the 18 “slides” prevents the exit from becoming a bowling alley. In other cases the purpose of things is more straightforward. Take donuts. Their purpose is self-evident. A great tre

Donuts at Summer's Twilight

Friends, Summer is over. Alright, you’ve technically got one more day to go out and enjoy the season -and what a day it’s shaping-up to be! Driving into the south Denver office this morning, dark mauve clouds hanging over the downtown area had sunrise paint their underbelly a bright shade of amaranth. The backlit buildings, dark diamond-studded pillars, provided a beautiful contrast to the orange sphere rising in the east. The only fly in the ointment is the fact low light pictures taken while driving 55 miles per hour never turn-out right, so memories are all I have of the spectacular sight. The crisp morning air blended with the donuts in my car gave off a subtle rose petal scent, harmoniously complementing the scene. With a forecasted  80 degree high, it’s the perfect day for everything but complaining. If you’re in the office this morning, come enjoy a donut. I realize it’s not Friday yet, but hey, tomorrow’s a whole season away. Happy Thursday!

Incongruent Thoughts

Friends, Incongruence is all around us, you just have to look for it. Take Ray Liotta’s Chantix commercial . Have you seen it? A macho badass wearing bad foundation and mascara. I can’t decide whether it’s funny or sad. Or take the latest hurricane. Florence is flooding the Carolinas. Might a better Italian toponym be Venice? I suppose you could say Florence is Turin the Carolinas and it will Rome for a while, making them flood like Venice . Then there’s a LinkedIn invitation I received this week. Dracul Rusu from Romania. Sure, Galați county is east of Transylvania, however it’s in the right neighborhood. He has no profile picture, which makes sense, what with cameras using mirrors as part of their mechanisms, his image would be hard to capture. He attended Babes University… how cool is that? Alright it’s actually Babeș-Bolyai University, a bona fide institution with over 40K students. A full-stack software developer, he also drives a cab -among other activities. Alright, so

Spaces and Spenga and Spotx, oh my!

Friends, Special spaces speak spontaneously. Spartan or splendid, they can spur spine-tingling spells on us. Spend a split-second at a spellbinding spire and something spiritual sparks the imagination. Speaking of inspiration, the sport played with a prolate spheroid’s nascent season can leave us speechless. Spellbound spectators speculate on speedy victory for the equine species representing their team. So, why am I spinning my speech to splice words that begin with SP together? This snapshot might explain it. Spot it? Yes, Spotx, Spaces and Spenga span our spot. Speculate on it over a special treat. Perhaps even a Spudnut donut? Happy Friday!

Of Anecdotes and Stats

Friends, In a world where perception is reality, how we shape our perceptions matters. Reality is a complex beast and there are many ways to correctly interpret the same thing -that’s why reasonable people can disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everyone is right -I also believe many statements are either true or false, and there are outright lies. What I am saying is we need to put things into perspective. The best way I know to do this is to try to understand whether the statement in question is an anecdote or a trend -and try not to generalize and paint in broad strokes. I cringe when a foreigner does a terrible thing and all foreigners are painted with the same brush -or worse, it becomes justification for xenophobic rants and policies. Granted, any crime is terrible and we should aspire to a world without it, however, that anecdote needs to be cast against the latest census data. In 2010 non-citizens were 7% of the U.S. population and only 5% of the prison population

The Dark Side of Collaboration

Friends, A recent CDW collaboration commercial depicts a lonely employee in a desolated office, conducting activities that require colleagues to be there. Sharing donuts, playing ping-pong, sitting in a meeting room. For some inexplicable reason folks see a resemblance with yours truly. Admittedly, there’s the donuts… and the preference to work at the office… and the disappointment when others don’t show. Other than that, I don’t see it. Of course, with this being labor day weekend’s eve, I expect the small contingent at the north Denver office will be working from home, so, I will be eating my donuts and playing ping pong at home, by myself today 😉 . I hope your plans for Labor day include a healthy heaping of no labor and we’ll see you at the south Denver office on Tuesday! Happy Friday! P.S. Thank you Greg Griffiths for pointing me to the video 😊 !

Good News!

Friends, As I stare at the "gray screen of #&@%!" and listen to the looped high volume 5 second music followed by the whispering instructions IT has set-up, the temptation to go negative is strong -human nature and all that. Then I am reminded of a recent Ted talk exploring the question of whether the world is geting worse or better. The answer is better! My favorite stat is about extreme poverty. Despite population growth, over the past 50 years people living in extreme poverty have gone from 2.2 billion to 800 million (round numbers). That means that over the past 50 years, the daily headline in the newspapers could have been 80K more people came out of extreme poverty today! Of course the world is more complex and nuanced (and news gravitate towards the negative). Still, we need to be reminded of the overwhelming positive from time to time. Perhaps mull it over with a donut and hot coffee in hand.  Happy Friday!

Fractal Donuts

Friends, Life can seem like a fractal. A pattern, infinitely repeating itself at different scales. Seconds become minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia end eons. One project is replaced by another and smaller deadlines become bigger deadlines. Human history seems replete with wars that would be the last and the news cycle reminds me of groundhog day. That is why it seemed kind of fun to break the pattern. You got it! Donuts on a Wednesday –and not just regular sized donuts either. In celebration of the south office potluck, I thought I’d create a donut fractal. So if you’re in the south Denver today, feel free to drop by and disrupt the pattern –as you can tell from the picture, I’ve already taken a bite. Happy Fri... um, Wednesday!

Musings in Marketing

Friends, Photo sharing is a key part of the vacation experience. The rite helps bring you closure and proves to friends and acquaintances you were actually somewhere (hopefully somewhere nice). As I try to dust off some neurons and get re-acquainted with my job, I thought I’d spare you the curated greatest snaps parade. Instead, I’ve curated a different kind of album. For your enjoyment and edification, here are some road trip lessons in marketing. Know your sweet spot . Sure, “whale hunting” is alluring but, if like these mosquitos you try to go after a target you are not ideally suited to succeed, you may be crushed. You may win outside your target . Notice anything odd about this picture? Other than the fact it’s a storm drain grill? If you look closely, this Mt. Rushmore auditorium fixture reads “Urban Accessories”. Incongruence is fun. And that’s OK. Messaging can be powerful . This mountain is not tall enough to make the list for the top 100 peaks in the U.S.

Road Trip Donuts

Friends, It’s road trip time! Load-up the mini-van, yell at the kids and, two hours later than planned, go chase the horizon. Windows open wide, your mind wanders as wide eyes gaze at open fields. Wind streaming through my hair, I press pause on Windstream to dream of ice-cold streams. Home a distant memory, the black hills dash towards our windshield and, like that unfortunate bug, I am struck by the notion there are two kinds of roadtrippers: the voyagers and the destinationers. The former relish the road and the latter can’t help but wonder: are we there yet? While I consider myself a voyager, the butterfly stowaway seen here trying to force my gas foot to the floor is clearly a destinationer. Whether you’re a voyager, a destinationer, or even an avoider, one thing is for sure: if you gotta have a donut today, you’re gonna have to get your own. Happy Friday!

In Donuts we Trust

Friends, Our lives are an exercise in trust, from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. We trust Kellogg’s not to poison our cereal, our fellow drivers to stop on red and colleagues to arrive on time to meetings. We trust no one will break into our home to rob from us and smother us while we sleep. We trust our employer will deposit our wages in the bank, the bank will give us our money on request and that money’s value will remain relatively stable. Our trust in rules allows us to focus, be productive and enjoy life. I suppose trust comes more naturally to the trustworthy, after all, it’s natural to expect others to behave as we do. I think that’s why news of stolen elections in Zimbabwe, Russian meddling in ours and politicians who have contempt for the rule of law, the press and truth are so unsettling. These events chip away at our trust in the foundations on which society is built -and can be a big distraction. They are reminders that without trust, our way of li

The Dark Side of the Eclipse

Friends, What are your plans for today’s total lunar eclipse? The blood Moon and Mars in opposition promise to deliver a spectacular show. If, like me, you didn’t plan ahead and book a ticket to the other side of the pond, you’re probably just working –like me! If you thought there was nothing you could do to about it, I have a few ideas so you don’t completely miss-out on this historic, “once-in-a-lifetime” cosmic event. Live stream it during lunch. With totality happening between 1:30 and 3:15 PM MDT you can take a late lunch and enjoy the show on your handheld screen. If staring at a couple of red dots on a small screen in not gonna cut it for you, how about some Pink Floyd blasting on your headphones? Close your eyes and let your imagination transport you to the Dark Side of the Moon. Or, you could enjoy a Moon Pie. Remember those? Then, afterwards you can freshen your breath with some Eclipse gum! Better yet, combine it with #1 and #

Bring your own Geiger counter!

Friends, This week’s news were literally radioactive -and I’m not talking about the fallout from the Trump-Putin summit. I’m talking mutate your DNA-exciting news. I’m talking Marie Curie-worthy news. I’m talking Geiger-counter-tilting news. I’m talking… well, you get the (glow in the dark) picture. A study about a lone wolf collared near Chernobyl and tracked on a long trek spawned the headline “ Could Chernobyl Wolves Be Spreading Mutations? ” While one can be forgiven for envisioning a flying wolf with laser eyes and a green aura about it, the disappointing story basically says most mutations are harmful to an animal’s health -and unhealthy animals are unlikely to travel 250 miles and mate with other wolves, contaminating the gene pool. So, much ado about nothing. The desire to open Rocky Flats (a nuclear weapons facility turned wildlife refuge) to the public has triggered some litigation from an environmentalist group. At st

Donut Update - Severity 3 - Observations on human behavior

Friends, Wednesday’s email flurry coincided with the last day of my weeklong vacation. My brief backlog panic was followed by smirks as I sampled and catalogued the ensuing barrage –that is, of course, until IT intervened to put an end to the fun. As I see it, the responses fell into four discreet categories: Clueless . The most common response, by far, was some variant of “remove me from this list” (I actually prefer the more effective “Remove me from this list NOW”). Needless to say, the “reply all” approach combined with a basic misunderstanding of what was actually happening was rather amusing. Helpful-not-helpful . Be it the response to all asking folks to please stop responding to all; the multiple (misguided) instructional guides on what to do in this situation or the creative subject line changes (“STOP REPLYING TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” or, my favorite subject line, “Are you people insane!  I have had to delete over

Weizendonuts

Friends, Germans can legally drink beer at age 16 but not to drive until they’re 18 -although when they finally do there are some segments of the autobahn which have no speed limits. Combining these data points is sure to yield a smartass remark. The most interesting man in the world might sum it up this way: They cannot initially drink and drive, but when they finally can, they prefer to go 2x faster. I’m sure one of you will do a better job at combining these factoids. This morning, as I embark to Durango with my family and visiting former exchange student from Germany (who at 19 is in an awkward legal drinking limbo), I’m glad there is no minimum donut eating age. Made with wheat, water and yeast, they’re practically an edible weizenbier. Of course, you’ll have to provide your own donuts (if you want them, that is).  Either way, prost to a happy Friday!

Donuts in Mt. Evan Parking Lot

Friends, I have a confession: I’m somewhat of a purist. As long as I can remember, I’ve thought anything worth doing must be done right. No half-measures –it’s often all or nothing for me. I wanted to explore the uncharted virgin jungles of Africa, not “settle” for ordinary Ecuadorian rain forests (although settle I did). Trek around the continent’s beaches, not just wade in the waves. As a child, when someone said my sister ‘broke’ her head, I imagined it cracked open, brains exposed, not the small cut she actually endured. I suppose that may be why despite living in Colorado for 20 years I had never hiked Mt. Evans. After all, hiking a fourteener should be more than a few hundred yard scamper up a well-worn trail. Right? Well, I finally did it... and it was awesome! I had not considered I would be driving the highest paved road in North America to the highest parking lot. Who knew there was an observatory and a blown-up building that in the 1930s was the highest man-made struct

Future Donuts

Friends, The future is unwritten. Plans and prior commitments can give us a sense that impending events are set. Comforting for some. Unsettling for others. Our script for the days and months ahead is more of an if-then statement (better yet, if-perhaps ). Even if we follow the plan, outcomes are uncertain. Priorities shift, plans change, and commitments can be broken -and chance plays a role. You get to decide. Granted, deciding to break with the past can be a risky proposition, however you have the power to do it. Whatever your plans are for the weekend ahead, I see donuts in your future. A dozen Dunkin’ Donuts waiting to be consumed. Enjoy one as you decide. Happy Friday!

Viking Donuts

Friends, The world cup is upon us! The two teams I normally root for in the first round are out (Ecuador and USA) so I’ve been trying to find something to get excited about. I know, elite soccer should be enough of a motivator, however, not rooting for a team removes much of the thrill. Enter Iceland –a first time qualifier! With only 335 thousand inhabitants (and yes, I rounded up), it’s as if the city of Aurora, CO somehow formed a team and qualified for the tournament. The Vikings open against Argentina tomorrow at 7 AM and 1.5% of Iceland’s population will be at the stadium watching –proportionally, if we wanted to match that, 5 million Americans would have to travel to a game –we’d need a big-ass stadium. Although I would normally root for Argentina (and still might in other games), I’ll be cheering for the little country that could (drum, Viking war chant and all). Skol! In preparation, I brought some donuts (need to carbo load for the strenuous weekend celebration). If you’r

Donuts are back. Surprise!

Friends, Most of life is predictable. We gauge each situation and set expectations accordingly. Unsurprisingly, things often go as planned. Sometimes, though, the pattern is broken and something unexpected happens. Surprise! This week, my whimsy trip to Ecuador was jam packed with fun activities –and a few unplanned turns and twists I’d like to share with you. 1.             While I had planned to attend my High School’s 80 year celebration, the camaraderie was well above expectations. I was also not expecting about half of my graduating class to attend (a couple of whom I had not seen since 1985). 2.            How much I would enjoy spending time with my dad, who graduated from the same high school, class of ’63. 3.            Finding a new horseback riding trail right next door to my dad’s ranch was a tad unexpected. Having a silver colored antimicotic inadvertently rubbed on my black jacket while holding my dad’s horse, total surprise! 4.            Although

Virtual Donuts!

Friends, In this world of virtual assistants, virtual server instances and virtual reality, why not a virtual donut -or three! If only 3D food printers were mainstream, I could share a donut with each of you. It’s coming sooner than you think, but not soon enough for today. So, pixels will have to do. Happy Friday!

Decoration Day Donuts

Friends, Did you know Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day? Armed with this fact, one wonders why the name was ever changed. Not only does it provide a good reminder to decorate everything from the tombs of family members fallen in the civil war to the guest room at home; it also affords us a great opportunity for alliteration–say, Decoration Day delivers dramatic Dunkin’ Donuts despite donut boy working from home today.  As we enter this Decoration Day weekend (you young whipper snappers born after the end of the 19 th century can keep your modern name to yourselves), I hope you have a peaceful, mindful, restful three day weekend. Happy Friday!

Donuts in Springtime

Friends, Spring has established itself. It feels good to get-up bright and early to fill your lungs with the rich morning air as the sunrise reveals a world alive with possibilities. Trees are donning fresh new leaves and green lawns soothe the psyche as temperatures regularly reach the goldilocks zone. Longer days provide more opportunities to see goslings by the lake as bunnies successfully evade cars in the neighborhood –I can’t say the same for prairie dogs. The final days of school are upon us and Summer will be here before you know it. As you consider vacation destinations, consider also what a donut might do for your mood. If getting out in the spring weather was not sufficient motivation to get you to the office today, perhaps a donut might get you off the fence. Happy Friday!

Circular Logic

Friends, In the world of circular shapes, the sphere, cylinder and cone hog the spotlight. They need no introduction and no one has to google a description or photo to know what they are. Not so for the ellipsoid and torus. These slightly more obscure names are as common as their popular cousins, yet, somehow mainstream recognition eludes them. This lack of unaided recall is puzzling. If one were inclined to create conspiracy theories, one might suggest it’s our modern culture’s health craze that is behind this second-class citizen treatment of the aforementioned shapes. After all, a subset of society frowns on deep fried doughy treats –of course the ellipsoid (think bizmark) and the torus (think donut) resemble them. The only hole in this theory, of course, is the donut hole (which is spherical). This morning, I encourage you to show your support for circle-based shape diversity by grabbing a donut (or bizmark) from the dozen I picked-out for you. Happy Friday!

Big Donuts

Friends, I overheard a thought-provoking joke this week. The punch line goes something like “my smart speaker stole my bitcoin and eloped with my vacuum in my self-driving car”. It’s funny because this 21 st century problem, while unlikely, does seem somewhat plausible. It speaks to the promise and threat the future holds. I don’t know how you feel about this, but my first inclination is to get a little freaked-out. Then I take a deep breath and think these changes are being driven by humans to help humans. Ideally, technologies like blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence will remove friction, lower cost and remove humans from job functions for which machines are better suited. Repetitive tasks, driving insights from large datasets, structured problems. Of course there are always unintended consequences. If quantum computing reaches sufficient qubits to enable artificial consciousness and humans cease to be the center of innovation, then I hope our new overlords

Toe-curlingly Good Donuts

Friends, Life is like curling. You know, that obscure sport we only hear about once every four years at the Winter Olympics. Think of your trajectory as that of the heavy granite stones . Where we end up is a function of impulse, inertia and friction –and interactions with other stones. A lot of time and energy is devoted to sweeping , which is important, as it hones our course by removing friction. That being said, where we end-up is largely determined by the shots we take, setting in motion our journey towards the button (i.e. our goal). Yes, collisions will derail us, however, we get several shots –so make them count! I’m sure other parallels can be drawn –let me know any you find insightful. You know what’s not like curling? Donuts! With a low inertial mass, a hole in the middle and totally edible, donuts couldn’t be more different than curling rocks if they tried. Take a shot at  one -or two. Happy Friday! P.S. The bolded terms come from the world of curling. Yes, I h

Wind, Tree and Fire

Friends, This past Tuesday brought with it a whirlwind. I’m not talking about marketing activity, although there was plenty of that. I’m talking literally! Looking out of our Broomfield office windows, you could see the street signs bending, tumbleweeds smashing into cars and plastic bags zipping by at 86 MPH. There was even a breeze in the second floor corridors (all that air being sucked out of the building through the first floor front doors –propped open by gale force winds!) On the drive home, a couple of fences had fallen, a couple of rooftops looked mangled and a couple of stop lights stopped working. Then there was the tree toppled in my back yard, which fortunately managed to miss my fence, gazebo and siding. While we’ll miss its shade, it provided an obstacle course for Tina, our dog and firewood for my pyromaniac family (alright, for me!). You’ll notice I resisted my impulse to make corny Wind-stream tie-ins. I also resisted going out of my way to Wind-chill’s d

Donuts, here for your safety!

Friends, This week I discovered our Denver North office has a Bitcoin Teller Machine (BTM). What?!? A convenient way to cash-out on all your Bitcoin millions before the hype wears-off. Except, this teller only TAKES your hard-earned dollars and converts them to Bitcoin. It does not DISPENSE hard currency. What’s the use case for that? Never mind, duh! It’s the general scenario that will ensure Bitcoin never goes to zero (despite recent trends). Crime! Say you are a crime boss (or petty criminal) who wishes not to have your transactions traced. An anonymized crypto-currency is the perfect vehicle to contract for that hit job, buy and sell stolen goods or funnel your monies far from prying eyes. But what if your cash business still accepts, well, cash? What do you do with all that clunky paper? Depositing it at your bank so you can buy your crypto online defeats the whole scheme. Enter the BTM. First you rent some office space at Spaces (which, by the way, makes for a great front).

Tariff-Free Donuts

Friends, Sitting on the sidelines of the tariff escalation between the U.S. and China sort of feels like watching an argument between two five year olds. Let’s call them Jimmy and Danny –any similarity to real names of world leaders is pure coincidence. Jimmy has been making Danny help him with his homework as a condition to letting him play games on his Playstation. Danny is not too happy about it so he pushes Jimmy. “O yea?” says Jimmy and pushes Danny back. Danny punches Jimmy. Jimmy punches back. Before you know it, a playground fight breaks-out. Except, the only ones getting a black eye are consumers, watching helplessly as they are forced to foot the bill for all this child’s play. Fortunately, to my knowledge, there are no tariffs being considered on donuts –yet. This week as we inaugurate the new Denver North office, we’re celebrating with a dozen LaMar’s donuts. So come on over and grab one before they’re targeted and prices go up. Happy Friday!

Happy donuts, good Friday

Friends, It’s that time of year again. Chocolate bunnies are at the peak of egg laying season and children of all ages are dusting-off their baskets to hunt-down the great dyed egg. Winter is losing its grip as humans of all sizes change their wrappings to pastel colors and ready for their semi-annual church visit. Soon lawn sprinklers will paint our high desert green again as snow making sprinklers will cease to paint the mountains white. Days grow longer, clothing grows lighter and trees grow leaves. Spring is here and I’ve decided to join the spring break (if only for a day). I’m briefly visiting Caribou Coffee to deliver donuts to my colleagues and then off to enjoy the change of season. Happy Good Friday!

The Best of Intentions

Friends, On my drive to Caribou Coffee this morning I noticed concrete trucks at big dry creek trail. It seems they’re spending a pretty penny to ruin one of my favorite gravel running trails -although I’m sure that’s not how they see it. Kind of like my dog Tocho thinks of Canada geese as “tasty treat factories” or my neighbors frowning on my not separating recyclables from trash I picked-up from the street during a run. The folks funding this project probably are not runners and probably assume everyone will appreciate it -the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Speaking of good intentions, I’ve been in back-to-back meetings this morning so even though I intended to send this out before 8, I’m just now getting to it. And, apropos “tasty treats” I have dozen donuts ready to consume for anyone still planning to make it. Happy Friday!

Phishing Expedition

Friends, The security team' phishing test got me thinking scammers could use a little marketing know-how. After all, if you look at the telltale signs of a phishing campaign, they’re all very solvable. What if we were to start an ad agency that focuses on the phishing industry. It could be called “ 5K Consulting ” (after the 5,000 fish-fed biblical multitude). Our pitch to prospects would go something like this: Phishing is a numbers game where only three numbers matter: the number of emails you send, the number of clicks you get and the number of “phish” you catch. Any improvement to these metrics improves your bottom line. At 5K Consulting, we’re committed to helping you get more clicks. Our proven methods will reduce the number of e-mails caught in spam filters and dramatically improve open and click-through rates. Techniques like “spell check” and “grammar check” are only the beginning. Our marketing experts are fluent in English and will ensure your subject lines and c

Dunkin' Sunrise

Friends, On this second attempt at a Windstream Enterprise “ Virtual Hub ”, it occurs to me these words feel like an oxymoron. After all this is an in-person gathering which is the opposite of “virtual”. If you look around oxymorons (oxymorae?) are fairly commonplace. Here are a couple that come to mind from this week’s news: Trade War . Trade is a mutually beneficial exchange. War is not. Diplomatic Tension . Diplomacy is the act of making nice. Tension ain’t so nice. I think the picture I took this morning of a “ Dunkin’ Sunrise ” also qualifies. If you fancy the big yellow orb in the sky as a basketball, dunkin’ would come at sunset -not sunrise. Whether this note made you smile or roll your eyes, there are a dozen dunkin’ donuts in my car waiting for virtual hub participants to consume them. Happy Friday!

Accidental Donuts

Friends, This week’s news about two stowaway teens falling to their death got me thinking about geography and the accident of birth. These young Ecuadorian men, were only a couple of years younger than I was when I first came to study University in the States. Like me, they hail from a mountain town –theirs smaller than mine, scenically situated near an ancient Inca temple, where my grandfather once owned a bucolic farm. We wanted the American dream, yet our fates are in stark contrast. They got to the airport by cutting their way through a fence -I entered through the main door. Their seat was to be the wheel well of the plane – my seat was… a seat. They only made it 1,000 feet in the air and had $20 to their names   -both these stats were at least an order of magnitude greater for me. We may have grown-up 45 miles apart, but our access to opportunity may as well have been a hemisphere apart. Through no merit of my own, I was also a U.S. citizen and that arbitrary title gave me a

Remote Donuts

Friends, I knew working from home was going to be weird, so I had mentally prepared for some of the inevitable challenges. I decided to keep as many personal routines as possible intact . I’ve been getting-up at the same time (even though it is tempting to sleep-in due to the shorter “commute”) and have kept-up with personal grooming (showering, dressing for work, having breakfast, etc.). I got a nice desk and dedicated ergonomic space and brew a pot of coffee every morning. As for the isolation, I suppose it can’t be helped. Sure, video meetings are nice, but they can’t take the place of hallway conversations. On whole I’d say my first week working from home has been a guarded success. Still, there were a few unexpected twists. Fresh air . On Wednesday afternoon I realized I had not set foot outside my house since Sunday –and quickly remedied the situation. Invisible chair . The edge of my camera view catches a corner of the room with some “invisible” clutter. As

Writer's Block as Inspiration

Friends, In my experience, writer’s block rarely comes from a lack of ideas. More often than not it comes from too many ideas -and an inability or unwillingness to cull the herd and pick a topic to develop. When I have several ideas which equally deserve to be written about, it’s tempting to get stingy and try to keep them all. Like children, I can’t pick a favorite -and then I get stuck. After all, indecision is anathema to focus -and good writing requires focus. Case-in-point, this week. There was a laundry list of topics I could have picked. Each worthy of its own article. People in the news whose names would make great vampire names (white house budget director Mick Mulvaney and Colorado Public Radio reporter Vic Vela would definitely make that list) Gravitationally Challenged Tuesday. Think about it, donuts and weight euphemisms could have made for a great write-up! Re-brand Ash Valentine’s Wednesday. Like a winter Olympic athlete going for a medal hat t

Donut Oddity

Friends, When things on earth get a little too crazy (memogate vitriol, Rohingya refugees, market jitters…), my thoughts can gravitate towards space. Lately, there has been no shortage of reasons to look up. Cool . On Jan 21, Rocket Lab launched a carbon fiber, ultra-shiny disco ball into space. The “Humanity Star” will be the brightest object in the night sky until it burns-up in our atmosphere in about six months. Looking for a conversation piece on a night-out? Track it , then plan an outing where you can casually point it out! It should be visible in the Denver area for three minutes on Sunday, Feb 25 th (you’ll need to check closer to the actual date for precise times). Why? Because! Cooler . This week, SpaceX successfully launched a cherry red Tesla roadster, fully equipped with a Starman , blaring David Bowie’s Life on Mars into an elliptical solar orbit that reaches beyond Mars. It is expected to remain in space a