Saturday, February 28, 2009
I like to think of myself as a relatively sophisticated guy. And then, I find myself laughing as Alex Karras punches a horse, or when Clevon Little rides into town as the new sheriff in matching Gucci attire on a color coordinated horse. I wonder who thinks of this stuff.
McLovin is my hero. The complete teenage geek who goes out and gets a fake ID and gives himself a name like McLovin with a straight face, like he's Prince or something, cracks me up.
Gary Larsen, the guy who did Far Side has my number. Dinosaurs smoking?? Didn't the Surgeon General post warnings on the packages. The Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking will cause you to go extinct.
Harvey Korman and Tim Conway looking at each other and trying to stay in character, never achieving that goal; Now that's funny.
I don't know why one thing is dumb and the next is funny. It just is. Getting hit in the crotch is shocking, but not really funny. Barbara Billingsley (Mrs. Cleaver) speaking jive is funny. Mr. Bill being destroyed each week on Saturday Night Live, or John Belushi as anything, or Land Shark saying "candy gram" are really funny, and they stand the test of time.
There are times when I want my humor to be socially responsible, mocking our leaders as they bumble their way through the day. Rod Blagojovich does make me laugh.
Mostly, I just like to laugh.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I like music. I just don't know what I like. I don't know the names of bands, or songs, or song writers. When it comes to music, I'm an idiot. Well, no more.
This Pandora thing asks me to name a style of music I like, or musician, or song. So, I just put in one I like and they take care of the rest. Through something called the Music Genome Project, they've been able to figure out other music I'll like based on my request and they mix it for me. I don't have to know anything.
And, as I hear a song I really like, I can identify the artist and then enter that name to add more music I'll like. It's hard to explain, but easy to like. Try it, you'll like it. http://www.pandora.com/. You'll thank me later.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Who is that guy? What's he thinking? Do I know him?
Recently, since I started writing this blog, I think I've gotten more acquainted with this guy. He had a lot of dreams and ambitions. He was brash and bold. Nothing could stop him. No mountain too high, no valley too low, no cliche too trite could keep him from his appointed task (had to throw in the mailman as well).
What happened in all of those years (I think 34 since this was taken)? In a word, life. Marriage, kids, homes, businesses, successes, failures, friendships, pets, hockey games, airports, births and deaths have all served to put their imprint on my face, my brain, my heart, my life.
This all makes me reflect on if I've delivered on all of the promise this photo indicates, make that promises. In retrospect, I've delivered on some, failed at others. But one thing this photo does is remind me to continue to strive to deliver. The 17 year-old in this picture is going to teach me a lot.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Looking around, there are examples of simplicity in nature everywhere... efficiency in design, and magnificence in result, like the egg. Not only does the egg do a job, it does it with class and beauty, an elegant design with no wasted energy.
In literature, George Orwell may have written more completely about human nature than anyone, and it was in a 125 page book. The simplicity of his writing belies the clarity and power of the message delivered.
A rainbow, created with simple light passing through droplets of water offers seven wondrous ribbons of color. How does a colorless liquid combined with light create a perfect arc of happiness?
Now, that is my challenge; create a product that delivers on the promise of comfort, beauty, and above all, do it with simplicity.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I just finished visiting my folks at their winter home in Arizona. I'm very lucky to have both my parents still living.
As I get older, I realize what a treat it is to have them around. No longer the authority figures of my youth, they are now people, with hopes and dreams and many of the same worries I have.
Mom is 85 (I hope she doesn't mind me exposing her age). She's as youthful as ever, always moving, never really taking time to sit down. I guess having six kids created lifelong habits that are hard to break. She loves to gamble...video poker. Who would have guessed the person who could make a meal out of a bone would have ended up in a casino. Good for her.
Dad has been struggling with his health for the past few years. An incredibly alert and smart 88 year-old with opinions that are as strong as smelling salts, Dad refuses to give in to physical ailments that would have grounded most men long ago. Watching him get up from a chair is both painful to watch and rewarding for the courage it takes to never give in.
They lived through some of the most difficult times in our nation, and they survived. Those skills to do more with less are needed more than ever today. We, as a people, can learn a lot from my folks. I certainly have.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Well, tonight, I got to see talent realized. Our local high school, Fort Atkinson High School, held its 14th annual Show Choir Showcase.
Show choirs are basically song and dance troups that stage professionally choreographed events. They have a 30 minute window to set up, check sound, do a 20 minute show, and then tear down.
I put my eight bucks on the table and got a wrist band. For four hours, I got to watch kids (it's hard to call them that after watching them perform) give every ounce of their being to entertain a packed gymnasium of interested family, friends, and fans. I was and am a fan.
I am amazed by the level of commitment and the quality of entertainment. When I think about the future, I feel better knowing it's in the hands of these kids. Talent - yes. Promise - Realized.