It’s The Lucky Ones What Died Matey!

Just something I like to say, when imagining my pirate roots. And drinking of course. And this blog is largely dedicated to that pursuit, so a fitting entre.

I had to dig a little deep for this picture. Me and my badass brother in the Mississippi Delta on a blues and golf outing around 10 years or so ago.

I has a dream last night that Mandela was alive. She was a pup again and we were walking in a big park with lots of trees and grass and she was running everywhere and chasing squirrels—which is why she was put on earth. I was so happy to see her young and energetic and smart and sassy. It’s exactly how she was. As I’ve said, no one ever met Mandela and didn’t fall in love with her. She was just that fucking cool.

It was a nice dream and I was sadly disappointed when I woke and realized where I was and where she was. A nice reminder of her though—not that I need one.

Sitting on the deck, sipping a glass of Nikka Coffee Grain Whisky and smoking down my last Cohiba. But I have a half-a-rack of Upmann’s in there that I bought in Amsterdam that are smoking beautifully, so I am good for a couple of weeks.

It’s raining. We’ve had some beautiful weather this week though so I cannot complain in good conscience. I am sitting under the big umbrella so all is fine.

I was able to ride the motorcycle to work a couple of days this week and that was glorious. There is something so energizing about riding a bike in the soft sun of the early morning. Watching all those other suckers in their closed-in cars. Today, the rains came and I was one of those suckers.

Well, that was short lived. When I set up outside on the back patio it was a light drizzle. No more than did I sit down and start writing and the skies opened up. The umbrella quickly was overcome and my computer and my person and cigar were taking on water. So now I am in the garage because I can’t bear to abandon this nice smoke. And, I have a chair and table set up out here for just this occasion. A good PM always has a back-up plan.

Work has been complicated. Things we knew must happen have begun to materialize. And, as these things go, many who have known, or should have known but who have willingly chose denial, are expressing shock and dismay. Denial is ending and so in the self-protectionist mode that is embedded in most of our DNA, many are evolving to finger-pointing and hunkering down rather than search for meaningful solutions.

It’s a dark time full of petty, childish behavior. But I am sometimes a man of faith and I think with time, the survival gene will repress and our leaders will start using their brains again and come to the table armed with conviction and commitment to match our team.

I recall here a lovely quote by the late great HST.

The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.
                Hunter S. Thomspon

This is apt. My team is doing good things to bring clarity and sense to our purpose, even while others deliberately create drama, smoke, & mirrors and wallow in delusion. But again, my faith suggests we will persevere. Not without some setbacks, but a path will emerge that while not as direct as it might be, will eventually take us home. I am hopeful that we may soon get some help from Chicago folks who are honorable and skilled and will provide some light in at least one of the dark rooms where we need to operate.

We must soon move to something resembling productive conversations about how to evolve once again to accountable beings who take ownership of our situation and become empowered to make different and better choices. Or put more simply, start doing what we are paid to do. Which is to manage. Be creative. Solve problems. Get shit done. I’ve not been here long and so have no hidden parachutes or life-lines and so am emboldened by this knowing that I either push through to the other side or face a quick death on this side. Others, who have relationships on the inside might get off with a light sentence of banishment to a boring daily operations job, but a new guy is an easy target to hang a noose on and shove off the side.

Most do not understand that a parachute is a handicap for the most part. Better to be all in or don’t play the game. I knew there would be challenges here and am glad we have dragged our sickly disease into the sun where it can be properly examined, diagnosed, and an elixir be formulated. We’ve got some good people who are smart and committed and a few others who are more focused on curling into fetal position and hoping they have a place on the team when the smoke clears.

A part of this blog is meant to be about discussing the great meals I have had—and times I have shared with family and friends over a meal. And I have been negligent in that. So I endeavor to be more responsible in this area going forward. I live a very fortunate life when it comes to foraging and preparing for excellent meals. It is a commitment I take seriously. Along with good drinks and the occasional cigar. It’s the simple pleasures—which of course we all know while constantly searching for complicated ones.

Truth be told, I rarely have a bad meal. I have some average meals, to be sure, but I have more than my share of great meals. Some simple and some less so. My life has been blessed in this way. In many ways. Family. Friends. Women I have known. Travel. Adventures. Perspective. MYO. And hopefully enough brain cells banging together to keep it all afloat for another 20 years or so.

I got in a great run yesterday morning. It was perfect weather. Sunny and 59 degrees. My running route is heavily shaded Lakeshore Drive. So scenery is lovely. The first mile of my runs is essentially a body check to see how it’s going to go. How’s the bum knee? Tender, a little angry but hanging in there. Same side, calf, the recently torn tendon? Holding together aided by the KT tape and compression socks. The always problematic lower back—so far so good. Its price will come later, but no issue for now. The hard calcium deposit in my rib cage? Just an old rugby injury from a couple of broken ribs that always hurts but never to the point of being debilitating. And, finally, the right foot. Very temperamental this one. Perpetually 20% bigger than the left (which makes shoe shopping hard); also a remnant from rugby. This time a vicious match against the Tongans in Salt Lake City circa 1993. That injury cost me half-a-season. The only injury that put me out of playing for any length of time.

The lessons I’ve learned from rugby? If I had it to do over, I would play twice as much. And I played hard core for 20 years and another 5 years of occasional lower division. It’s just that fun.

Rain has picked up and cigar is about done. I had to move back half-a-foot from the garage entrance because the rain splatter was encroaching. It’s amazing the amount of rain that Cleveland gets. Who knew? It’s like living in a rain forest here. I appreciate the green of course, but it might be a little over the top. It’s like Oregon but with a much milder coastline and no mountains.

I never found the photo I was looking for, but found a couple of others from the same general time period. this was 2002–sailing off the coast of Boston on the big 72′ steel yachts we used for training for the round the world Global BT Challenge.

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