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Showing posts from January, 2019

Ecuadorian ice sculpture award --just in time for the polar vortex

Friends, This weekend at the Breckenridge international ice sculpture competition, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Ecuadorian team had won the “Artists’ Choice” award for their masterpiece. As you probably know, Ecuador, my home country, does not have a winter season –and you have to hike to elevations where it hurts to breathe if you want to experience snow (no polar vortex for us!). Yet, our snow sculpture got an award. Similarly, Mexico won first place. How can artists who did not grow up with snow accomplish these feats? Perhaps we can attribute it to the “nobody is a prophet in their home town” phenomenon. Familiarity breeds contempt and folks who have known you for a long time are all too likely to take you for granted. That being the case, I have decided there should be no donuts today. That way, maybe we’ll appreciate them more next week.  To  help tide you over, here are photos of the Ecuadorian and Mexican award winning sculptures. Happy Friday!

Draper Donuts

Friends, Binge watching Mad Men (or, what passes for binge watching in a busy household), one can’t help but notice a few attitude changes. Taking the time machine back to the ‘60s, one is struck by some stark cultural contrasts between then and now. There are, of course, the overt workplace innuendo, pervasive smoking and the absent seatbelts. There is also a family outing where Don tosses his beer can into a field while the rest of the Drapers nonchalantly leave behind a flotsam of litter where their picnic blanket had been. What a difference five decades make. Then there’s the nine dozen Dunkin’ Donuts delivered weekly to the agency. One could grab some today and no one would frown at you. I suppose the more things change, the more they stay the same. Happy Friday! P.S. Here's a clip with Dunkin' at the Sterling Cooper break room

Bite the Donut

Friends, I believe in facing the difficult situations quickly and in doing the unpleasant tasks early. While my practices don’t always match my beliefs, these two related disciplines are ones I’ve been working at for some time. The thing is, like mechanical problems in your car, the longer you wait, the worse these difficult situations tend to get. As for unpleasant tasks, it’s better to tackle them first thing in the morning, when your energy level is highest. Plus, it’s energizing to have these checked-off the to-do list. So, when those facets of the job you didn’t sign-up for rear their ugly head, bite the bullet and eat the frog . Of course, it’s more enjoyable to bite and eat the donut. Why isn’t that an idiom? Fortunately, it’s possible to do both. A word to the wise: you should be literal with the donut and figurative with the bullet (you know, lead poisoning). As for the frog, a little extra protein never hurt no one –so you decide. Happy Friday!

Donut Shutdown

Friends, With the partial government shutdown about to break the previous duration record, my hopes of hearing less from Washington during the slow-down are proving to have been unfounded and vastly optimistic. My logic seemed sound. It went something like this: the government is shut-down, therefore, people who work for the government won’t be there... so, given the lack of activity, the news will have to report more non-political subject matter. I realize now that was too much to hope for. After all, it’s not the lower ranks, now forced to forgo a paycheck, that had fabricated the news prior the shutdown. Yes, I could just tune-out the news and switch to music for my commute. But, as with all vices, it’s easier said than done. Speaking of vices, I hope you’re indulging on a donut as you read this note this morning. Even better, I hope you have a hot beverage in your other hand! As for the Mongol hoards our military must keep at bay by building a Great Wall, I’ll let you decide ho

Happy New Year!

Friends, Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful end to 2018; an opportunity to count your blessings and examine how you might make 2019 even better. In my household, as many of you know, New Year’s is a big deal –so big I spend the last week of the year making the preparations with the help of my family. For the past dozen years or so we’ve hosted an Año Viejo party, an Ecuadorian tradition where the central event is the burning of one or more effigies representing the past year. Out with the old, in with the new… that sort of thing. Over the years these effigies have become larger and more elaborate, and building them has been a cathartic way to be grateful and let go of the passage of time. This year’s theme had Stephen Hawking (who passed in March) trying to hitch a ride from Spaceman and his cherry red Tesla roadster (launched into space by Elon Musk’s SpaceX in February). I also included a few Easter eggs. If you pay close attention to the photo of the early stage of the ro