Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2022

Out with the old, in with the new!

Friends, I’m not much for making New Year’s resolutions. I figure if you want to do better, why wait for an arbitrary date to set a goal? Perhaps that’s why a whopping  91 percent  of such resolutions are not accomplished. I prefer to look back and examine the year that was. What went right? What might I do better? Most importantly, what effigy might best represent the previous 12 months so that we might burn it at midnight on New Year’s Eve at our annual Año Viejo celebration? This year, Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine weighed heavily on the world. Atrocities, suffering, inflation, recession, you name it. So, I thought it was high time for some poetic justice (if only symbolic). Putin will be getting a taste of his own medicine. How are you planning to welcome 2023? If you don’t have plans, feel free to swing by. And, if you’re the resolution-making type, I hope one involves patronizing a donut shop more frequently (perhaps accompanied by yours truly... hint, hint). Happy New Year!

Christmas Cheer

Friends, Christmas Day will be here overmorrow and, with the arctic cold here to preserve yesterday’s flakes, what a white one it will be! While I have neglected to send cards (I may yet do so before MLK Jr day), on this Christmas Eve’s Eve, I wish to wish you all a merry, Merry Christmas—the holiday my family and I happily celebrate. Whatever your happy holiday may be, I hope your feet stay as toasty as your heart; your dreams as clear as the Colorado sky and your donuts as frosted as the fresh blanket of snow we received yesterday. Merry Christmas!

Donuts in some shade of blue

Friends, This World Cup final pits Paris against the Paris of South America. The blue jerseys vs. the light blue (and white) jerseys. The reigning champ facing the greatest active player, whose last chance to win a World Cup comes on Sunday. Both teams boast two titles. One thing is certain, only one team will win. As a citizen of the Americas, I’ll be rooting for Argentina to bring the cup back to our continent for the tenth time, and narrow the gap with Europe, who has twelve. That said, no matter the winner, it’s just a game. So grab some donuts and get ready for some early Sunday thrills (the game starts at 8 AM MST). If donuts are not your thing, then grab some donut holes, they are, after all, shaped like little footballs. Not sure which shade of blue this alien at DIA was rooting for...​ Happy Friday!

Donut Museum

Friends, A lifetime is not enough, yet, a couple of hours is a lot, if only one could decide what to do. It's sufficient time for a good hike, a gourmet meal, or a refreshing siesta. It's also long enough to experience some art. That's the ticket! I let the light Madrid drizzle soak me as I await entry to the Reina Sofía museum and ponder the meaning of art. Why are some works more enjoyable than others, and why does the cult of personality persist around certain artists? Why do crowds gather around Salvador Dali's paintings and not Gerard Vulliami or Oscar Dominguez, whose surreal art is equally intriguing? Or why are Mondrian's abstract lines and colors more popular than Leger or Gleizes? Two hours is long enough to decide I don't care for Margarita Azurdia, and that I prefer Picsso's later work to his early paintings. It's also long enough for many other things. You just have to decide. Perhaps you can have a great conversation and enjoy a donut (or t

Jet Lag Donuts

Friends, Time travel is a delicate matter, so I did some research in anticipation of traveling across eight time zones this week. Melatonin. Sleep en route. Stay awake at your destination. As an extra precaution, I figured a little voodoo couldn't hurt--Voodoo Doughnuts, that is. They no longer stock their infamous nyquil donuts, so I went for the next best thing: a maple bacon bar, in hopes the food coma might help me sleep on the plane. In any event, I must have done something right with my mitigation plan. While some jet lag is unavoidable, and I’m no longer the young "I'll sleep when I'm dead" maverick I once was, I feel pretty good! So good in fact that I got up early this morning and had my daughter take me to sample some of Madrid's best donuts. Unfortunately, donut shops don't open until 10:30, except Dunkin' --and I can do that in my backyard. So, we settled for some churros instead... at the oldest Churrería in Madrid! When in Spain... Happy

Grateful Friday!

For family and friends, For food, fitness, freedom, faith and fresh air For flights of fantasy and fiction flicks Football and fútbol Feelings of fondness; forgiveness of faults Whether fleeting or forever; foreign or familiar,  I raise a French press and French cruller And give thanks for life. Happy Friday!

Eight Billion Donuts

  Friends, This week, Earth’s population symbolically crossed the eight billion inhabitant mark. This is an estimate, of course, it’s not like Big Brother has an exact tally of all the arrivals and departures from this planet, so we don’t know for sure who the eight billionth person was–that would be creepy. Although, it could also provide great promotional opportunities. Baby Kim Chin, born at 5:47 AM Tibet standard time on November 15th, 2022, might appear on the cover of Cracked Magazine or receive a lifetime supply of free Krispy Kreme donuts; the accident of her birth’s timing making her an instant global celebrity. Still, creepy! Speaking of creepy, I read somewhere that if you smooshed us all together into a giant sphere, the ensuing meatball would have a 1 Km diameter (granted, that thought experiment was done when there were 7.88 billion of us, but what’s 122 million among friends? While this may not seem like a lot, you’d need to meet five new people every second, 16 hour

Eclipse Embarrassment

Friends, For this week´s lunar eclipse, I headed out away from city lights to better observe the blood moon. At the mountain cabin, the river roars in the background while fireflies flash their brights. A startled dog barks, frogs chirp and croak in the petrichor. I fill my lungs with the crisp Andes air and set the pre-dawn alarm. The river, now the only background sound, lulls me to sleep in anticipation. Up before the sun, I grab a quick bite and brave the brisk morning air. A rooster crows while a couple of early birds chime-in—is that a toucan I hear? As predicted, the moon is way out east but something´s off. Our natural satellite appears whole—no bite taken by Earth´s shadow. As I slowly diagnose what´s happening, a donkey brays in the distance, barely audible over the river´s constant drone. I´m a day late, how embarrassing! So glad no one was here to witness my faux pas. O well, I guess I´ll go on a hike and take-in the unspoiled scenery. There´s always 2025… besides, I have

Mediocre Donuts

Friends,  Ever get the feeling some people have just stopped trying? Like the good folks at  ASOCOMCH , a small grocer in the town of Girón, Ecuador. While there might be a legitimate reason for their meaningless name, I prefer to imagine they accidentally printed their sign after a cat walked across the keyboard. When their print shop suggested a redo with the actual store name they shrugged and said “meh, close enough, besides, this will make trademarking the name a lot easier.” Or,  Fine Airport Parking  in Houston, Texas. How’s the place? It’s fine. Not great, just fine. I suppose their slogan must be "settle for us." As an added bonus, leave your car too long and you might get, you guessed it, a fine. Speaking of which, I was hoping to come up with a clever donut tie-in. Unfortunately I didn’t, so this will have to do. Like they say, good enough for government work. Happy Friday!

Creepy Donuts

Friends, Halloween is just around the corner, so I have to ask: what’s the creepiest thing you do? For me it has to be genealogy. On one hand you’re digging-up information on a bunch of dead people. On the other, the personal details gathered about distant living relatives can border on stalking. As if that weren’t bad enough, the software I use has a glitch that interprets any date in the current month as being in the future. So, if my daily home town obituary search (I know) yields a new entry, I get an alert that “John Doe’s death date is in the future”. It might as well finish the question: “are you planning on killing them?” Lately, I’ve also noticed several online family trees appear to show living people as dead. These “living dead” exist to circumvent pesky privacy rules designed to prevent identity thieves (and bona fide researchers) from seeing information about the living. Creepy! Speaking of which, I think I’ll bite into my ghoulish anthropomorphic donut and bid you adieu!

I assume you're ready for a donut

 Friends, A lifetime ago, as a first year MBA student, my macroeconomics professor asked what price I would pay for a business. I think he wanted to use my answer in an analogy to the overall economy. Unfortunately, having steered clear of business classes as an undergrad, it would be generous to say my understanding of corporate valuation methodologies was remedial. So, I did what any self-confident twenty five year old might, I blurted out the first answer that came to mind. An answer I thought might be directionally correct. An answer, it turns-out, so wrong the profesor rolled his eyes and made some patronizing remark about yours truly. In hindsight, I think he assumed this was a softball question, one any MBA student worth his salt would have handled better. A flawed assumption. Over time folks have assumed many things about me. They assume I'm not González because of the way I look and talk. They assume I've never ridden a bucking bronco because of my career choices. They

Houston, we have a problem!

Friends, There's a certain rush to taking a chance. When outcomes are uncertain, adrenaline levels tend to go up. I occasionally indulge in one such chance-based activity: standby air travel. Think of it as a lottery with much better odds. Want to raise the stakes? Add a layover and an international destination. Now you're talking! In the world of standby travel, you hope your ticket wins but you temper your expectations so the disappointment won't sting as bad when you're bumped to the next flight. And so, although I was hoping to be in Ecuador by now, I write you this morning's note from lovely Houston. As you've likely surmised by now, my track record yesterday was mixed. I made it out of Denver on my second try. There are five flights that can get me to Houston in time to catch my connection --and you've gotta try for the 5 AM itinerary (no regrets!)-- so I was not too worried about that first leg, despite the mile-long security lines at mile-high. For t

Misread of Misled

Friends, Things are not always as they appear. Take the Huntress Security slogan: "built to take you farther." I often misread it as "built to take your father". While taking your father may take you farther (especially if he pitches-in for gas), I don't think that's what the company had in mind. Or ,when someone refers to themselves as a "serial entrepreneur", my thoughts turn to W.K. Kellogg, the original  cereal  entrepreneur. Imagine if he had founded several competing enterprises.., he'd have been a serial cereal entrepreneur. Two horse-themed football teams incapable of scoring touchdowns may seem similar. So, why did the Bentonville* Broncos' overtime defeat last night grate me so? These were some of my thoughts when I was greeted by a sign that read "runnin' has its rewards". I know, I thought, that's why I'm a runner. It helps release stress, puts me in a better mood and makes me feel healthier. Somehow I don&

Space Rocks!

 Friends, Turning 55 today has me pondering the great philosopher Sammy Hagar's inability to drive my age. As the eighties earworm echoes in my head, another lead-foot comes to mind: the late Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) probe, which was doing 14,000 MPH when it clocked into Dimporphos, a 525 foot diameter asteroid, on Monday, If you missed the crash, google "DART probe." When you do, an animated probe will crash into the results page, tilting it one degree—which was the desired post-impact change in the asteroid's trajectory! (pardon my inner geek, but that alone is pretty cool!).  Watching the last image of the live transmission, it occurred to me that the asteroid's rocky texture would make a great rock album cover (get it?). In fact, the barrage of space images coming-in these days seems purpose built for cover art. Bands of all genres could save a ton by using these amazing pics. To illustrate my point, I've mocked-up a few ideas, using real ba

Donut Let It Keep You Down

Friends, Ever have a down day? One of those days when you feel like you're in a deep, dark ,dank, damp dump. Perhaps someone made you feel worth less (or even worthless). Perhaps it's stress or a chemical imbalance. Maybe there's no reason at all, It's just one of those days (or months). While it's natural to want to lick your wounds, I find it's helpful to remember the feeling will pass, It may not seem possible in the moment, but it will pass. I then take stock of the things for which I am grateful. Family, friends, talents, passions, occupations, good health and good fortune. Afterwards, I make a mental list of things I like to do when I'm myself. I fancy myself an early bird —of course, I prefer coffee and donuts over catching worms. I like to run by the churning river while the day is still young. I love to smile, hold hands, and laugh out loud. I take pleasure in finding patterns, solving mysteries, learning about discoveries, and writing stories. I en


Friends, Someday I will wake-up and venture to accomplish the great feats I know deep down I was meant to achieve. Someday I will traverse America’s mountainous backbone on foot from Las Torres del Paine, past Aconcagua, over Denali and through to King Cove. Someday I will make a pilgrimage across the Camino de Santiago to my 4th great grandfather Lorenzo González's native A Coruña. Some fine day I will finally sit down and write that novel that now and again stirs inside me and seeks to escape my head. Someday when the planets align, I'll wake up on the right side of the bed. Someday while I'm still in decent shape and in control of my faculties. That day I'll venture out and visit the four corners of the globe. Someday. Not today. Today I'll kick the can and have a donut with a cup of coffee, biding my time. Tomorrow is not looking good either. But someday. Someday soon! Happy Friday!


Friends, The term "anachronistic" has come-up a couple of times in discussing Queen Elizabeth II's legacy and succession. It seems awards like the  Order of the British  Empire  and titles like  Defender of  the   Faith   may be remnants of a bygone era (one might argue "monarchy" should be on that list). I'm reminded of the trend in the U.S. to rename anything and everything, from sports teams to schools to landmarks. I don't know why this trend irks me so... it's not like I have any pride of ownership in any of the names being changed --and, to my knowledge, nothing is named after me. I suppose it's plain old resistance to change... constant, inevitable change. Today Chuck III succeeds Liz II. Some day Billy V may ascend to the throne --assuming he survives his father, still wants and is fit for the job, and the job is still available. The longer we live, the more change we face. Like a snake that sheds its skin in order to grow, we too must

Faux Pas?

Friends, As a fully remote worker, I sometimes miss the office. I miss the drive-by meetings, purpose-built space and break room conversations. Surprisingly, I also miss the commute. Beyond the utilitarian getting from point H to point W, the routine served to catch-up on the day’s news, while hitting the mental reset button to get in the right headspace for a productive workday. Lately, I've been thinking I could try borrowing a page from another group who desperately tries to recreate their former habits: Vegans. Don't get me wrong, I think vegans are great. Matter of fact, I have a highly accomplished vegan daughter whose many achievements make me quite proud — a topic, perhaps, for another missive — however, if you look at their menu you'd think they're pretending to be omnivores. From tofurkey to vacon to impossible burgers to fauxzarella cheese (I may have just coined that last one — you’re welcome vegan community!), you’d be hard pressed to find an animal-derived

Smell the Donuts!

Friends, Discovery stokes boundless emotions. That first bike ride, somewhat out of control, when fear and freedom mix into exhilarating flight! The song that makes you dizzy trying to taste the harmonic crescendo. Infatuation that hijacks your brain with a scotch-like burn in your chest, her smiling eyes haunting your waking dreams. The palpable fear of the unknown channeled through a dark room. As a youth, I would hang agave ropes from high eucalyptus limbs and swing over creeks and ravines, I dreamed-up techniques for rotating and picked angles for jumping into the abyss for optimal effect. Good times! Age can dull the edge -- if you let it. Emotional distance protects us while preventing the fullest life experiences. If you're not careful you might lose your joie de vivre and become a grumpy old someone. Fortunately, we control our actions and reactions. We don't need to succumb to "been there done that". Do it again! There's always a new wrinkle you haven'

Golden Donuts

Friends, Yesterday I dropped my youngest off in Golden (he’ll be attending the school of mines). Although I tried to be present in the moment, I couldn’t keep my thoughts from wandering. For instance, we had lunch at the  Windy Saddle  restaurant. Cool name, right? Except, when you’re riding, the only “wind” that blows on the seat of your saddle comes from within you —I suppose fewer people would eat at the  Farty Saddle . Then there’s the Coors brewery, nestled between the North and South Table Mesas. The redundancy notwithstanding (table and mesa are synonymous), shouldn’t the cerveza go on a mesa? —not betwixt them. I suppose my old habit of making random associations is a means to cope with change. After all, the more things change, the more... they’re different. Granted, not all facets change at once, and those that have not been altered, well, they stay the same. Like donuts on a Friday morning... mmm, delicious! The Windy Saddle Happy Friday!

You load 16 donuts, what do you get?

Friends, Work. This much maligned four letter word is important and necessary. It's ubiquitous, from home work to team work to your daily work out, you really can't escape it. Need a hobby? Try woodworking, artwork or yard work. Had a bad day? It'll work itself out. Need work? Network! The average Joe sells 15% or so of his life for a paycheck (22% of waking hours). Which begs the question: what is work? Orthodox Jews have arguably removed the guesswork. They've identified 39 categories of work you must avoid during the Sabbath --and gone into some absurd level of detail for some. It's fascinating to research the 39 Melakhot  (WARNING: it's a rabbit hole that may swallow your day whole) . For instance, it appears erasing one letter is OK. Erase two letters (or cut a cake with letters on it) and, voila, you're working. Of course one of the hardest working creatures is the humble ant. Lately, it seems ants along my running trail have been practicing their do

If I had a dime for every time a sublime rhyme comes to mind...

Friends, A troubadour tread tracks, traversing the universe, trying to coerce a cursed verse. Asking the sea king, as king, to solicit an illicit listing from a nihilist specialist  –   he sought socialist stylists. Breaking bread with a bearded baker whilst imbibing beer, and other arbitrary carbs, with an arborist in dark garb, he forgot his marbles. Failing to find a rhyme of divine proportion, he took to liquor libations with a librarian –and a literal liberal. In his debauchery he watched in tacky Versace the botched Fibonacci dissolve to his anguish. So, the bard broke-out to the beach. Baking in banana boat’s blocker, our bandana-clad sunbather inadvertently bore benzene –this balm’s carcinogenic content caused the cancer it claimed to stave off. Ironic, this inquest for an iconic sonic to rule hegemonic turned so demonic. He went hasty to find a tasty pastry and after a mutant coconut donut he was newly on it. This triumphant truant knew his trove to be true! Whence his ins

One Billion Donuts

Friends, The Mega Millions jackpot for tonight is over  one BILLION dollars!  --admit it, Dr. Evil's voice snuck into your head as you read this phrase. That's a lot of money. Even if you take the $650 million cash option and pay half in taxes, that's substantially  north of a quarter billion dollars take-home cheddar. Unfortunately, the Mega Millions billboard on I-25 South failed to envision the possibility of such a large prize, and only shows $999 Million --what's $101 Million among friends? I will spare you my thoughts on the virtues of billboard capacity planning, and will instead fess-up to paying the  tax for the statistically impaired  this week. Yes, I bought a lottery ticket yesterday. When the prize gets this big, one might be tempted to spend the $605 million it would cost to purchase every ticket combination --if one had the means, that is. Doing so guarantees you will win every prize the lottery has to offer. If no one else hits the jackpot you'd come

It's Electric!

Friends, What if   electricity  --named after elektron, Greek for "amber"-- had instead been christened after some other substance with similar properties?  We could be talking about   plasticism  or   glassitude   --after all, like amber, these materials can also store a static charge. Or how about sticking with English?   Amberness ?   Amberence ? But why stop there? The central naming authority could have gone in a very different direction. The old pantheon could have easily played a role in naming such a powerful force.   Zeusessence   anyone? How about   thordom  or   mardukance ? Heck, back when the name was coined, some hypothesized the phenomenon was caused by amber's fatty and sticky "humor" (fluid) attracting dry (thirsty) objects.   Humorness ?   Humoresence ?   Humoracity ?? Speaking of fatty and sticky, I'm heading down to   Tasty Donuts  in Commerce City to find out what all the buzz and high ratings are about. And on my way, I might just have

Cryptic Notes

Friends, As the world marvels at the first batch of Webb Space Telescope  images , I'm reminded we are all made of star stuff. Carl Sagan knew ancient stars were born, lived and died to make the stuff of which we're made (anything heavier than Beryllium originated in a dead star). We borrow these elements for a while to lead our star-struck lives. Then, one day, breathe our last, and the stuff that was us is spread to the four winds, laid to rest in a cemetery, embedded in a columbarium, stored in a mausoleum or buried in a crypt. If you happen to be in Cuenca and in the mood to tour a crypt, there are two options. Located a block apart from each other these very different final resting places sit under the city's old and the new cathedrals --think of them as the Hubble and Webb of crypts. One served its purpose well for many years, the other is newer, and much bigger. The 16th century  old cathedral  (Hubble, if you will) is now a museum. It has six small crypts, the large

7.33 Dozen

Friends, The escalinata (stairway) connecting Cuenca’s historic downtown to the Tomebamba river bank has 88 steps —the same number as keys in a piano. Counting them (stairs, not keys) helps keep my mind off the arduous 60 foot climb. Five flights between landings of 17, 18, 18, 12 and 23 steps respectively. After counting to 88 a few times, the number starts bouncing around in my head. Wasn’t that the speed professor Brown’s DeLorean reached for time travel in  Back to the Future ? Maybe, instead of OUTATIME, a better vanity license plate might have been “88MPH ”. Now, getting the number eighty eight on your license plate will cost a pretty penny in China and is impossible in Austria —for different reasons. In China, it summons fate (lucky eight). In Austria it screams out hate (father state). As for the piano, an octave has a dozen notes —the same number as donuts in a box, yet 88 isn’t a multiple of 12. I suppose Steinway wanted to throw in four baker’s dozens when they settled on th

Do You Remember?

  Friends, Ever had an old friend boast on your exploits? They describe the whole misadventure in rich detail. “I remember when this guy showed-up at Alexandra’s formal party at Hotel El Dorado, wearing white sandals and torn jeans and she had to be paged because they wouldn’t let him in...” You smile and nod, unable to recall any of it! You dig through your mental archives. Nothing. It sure sounds like something you’d do, are you losing your marbles? Of all the experiences memory retains, some more trivial than others, why didn’t this one make it through your thick skull? Lately, it seems I retain less than I used to. After some angst, I’ve come to terms with the notion that experience is like a chisel, shaping the marble block of my life into a sculpture. I may not remember every stroke, but everything I do chips away at the old block, revealing my character. All those “lost” moments create the space my true self needs to manifest itself. Memory retains interesting, useful, comfortin

Donut Hole Alignment

Friends, My predawn attempts to watch the planetary alignment have thus far been met with cloudy skies. The weather forecast through the end of the cosmic event suggests I shall not witness it. And yet, my futile attempts have been rewarded in other ways. The chorus of birds, frogs and insects singing in anticipation of the sun’s glorious rising complement the river’s steady churning. The crisp, fresh air in a desolate town whose citizens are still bidding Morpheus “adieu” caresses my skin while the sweet aroma of petrichor fills my lounges. Deep shadows of centenarian eucalyptus trees slowly recede and give way to the imperceptible progress of the brightening skies. Sure, witnessing those tiny bright spots lined-up in the sky would be pretty cool —like sprinkles on a donut. Speaking of donuts, if you’re ever in Cuenca around the feast of Corpus Christi (which ended yesterday) you need to try the Huevos Chilenos (Chilean Eggs) —think of them as less sweet donut holes. And, if like me t

It's The Little Things

  Friends, A small action can have an outsized reaction. A kind word can raise a crestfallen spirit. A tiny seed can grow into a gigantic tree. A handful of trees, strategically felled over the right highways, can cut-off supplies to a region*. Granted, not all words are heard, not all seeds germinate and not all trees have blockade potential. As I ponder my next career move, it occurs to me this phenomenon means every moment is an opportunity waiting to be seized. Take this photo. The miniature chef on this mislabeled salt shaker (or is it white pepper?) inspired my much larger son to strike the same pose. So, be purposeful --choose a destination, start walking and you’ll be surprised how far you can get. Be flexible --if a door is locked, don’t pick the lock, just pick another door. Be optimistic --the biggest roadblock to our success is often our own attitude. And most of all, have a donut. After all, the little things in life add-up –and you never know when the butterfly effect is

Lines About a Line

Friends, Lines come in an assortment of expressions. Border lines separate us while phone lines bring us together. A lifeline might help you meet a deadline. There’s line dancing at parties and party lines at the office. Politicians may sell you a line to line their pockets. And, of course, there’s a fine line between a red line and a line in the sand. Bottom line, when it comes to lines, there is no shortage of line items. I realize I may have crossed a line with my excessive line references, but this week I visited the line where the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together —the equator. This particular segment commemorates the eighteenth century Spanish-French Geodesic Mission that measured a one degree arc in order to infer the earth’s circumference. They’ve built a theme park of sorts with a nine story monument/museum you can climb, egg-balancing stands, musical events, shops, restaurants and, of course, a long yellow line you can straddle. All in all, a fun little tourist