Blame it on the PBR

That’s the name of one of one of the songs from Hillbilly Casino, who I went to see tonight along with The Whiskey Daredevils at Beachland Tavern and Ballroom, just down the street from my house. As usual, a wild show from these dudes. Fun night.

So, not even sure really where I left off on writing. Work has suddenly gotten complicated. And, I am still wrestling with some of this sadness nonsense. It’s an odd thing: struggling to maintain composure. I have always been overly sensitive to the unkindness of the world, but for the past 4 decades or so I have intellectually rationalized it so that it was manageable. But now I seem to be re-fighting that old battle. The smallest things can set me off—homelessness or despair in general, animal cruelty, loneliness in older people, and of course the great suffering of the perpetually impoverished or anyone to whom opportunity to improve their situation is elusive. So, really, a great deal of the reality of our everyday world.

Also, as I have been thinking about interviewing mom for the NPR segment next week, that has been setting me off in to teary land. It’s embarrassing but I don’t know how to fix it.

Anyway……an answer will rise. It must.

I spent some time tonight while eating dinner thinking through the myriad of meetings tomorrow. Lots of critical activities kicking off at work right now. On these recovery programs, the first days and weeks and months are spent micro-managing one thing after another. Getting processes in place, getting organizational structures corrected, getting people the tools and training to be successful and then empowering them to go do what must be done. So getting the controls in place and then slowly releasing those to go work within those constraints—that provides the scale and continuity to broaden the work scope but without losing the quality or attention to detail. So now that is where we are and my messaging is more pointed towards the larger issues of focus and results and using the mechanisms in place to progress but within the guardrails laid down. There are still 100 high risk workstreams, but many of them are increasingly in better shape and we are getting more adept at managing them and reacting to the unknowns.

I like this challenge but of course there are frustrations. Primarily dealing with those dependencies outside our direct control and with some of our own leaders who are earnest and well intentioned, but actually disruptive to progress. But that is of course part of the challenge as well.

Anyway, the late night time passively or actively working cuts in to my writing time and guitar time and reading time.

I started re-reading The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons by John Wesley Powell. It’s no easy read but has been taunting me from my library for some time now. Years in fact. I started it perhaps 4 or 5 years ago but life got in the way and I set it aside. The foreword in this edition is from Wallace Stegner and so not reading it seems a betrayal—such is my admiration for him. Although, like many heroes, there are signs that a comprehensive examination may uncover philosophical differences in some areas. Like Edward Abby, I sometimes find that the view of some western writers is a bit myopic.

But Powell, I suspect, is pure. This book was first published in 1875 and written under duress. Powell was not a writer and never wanted to be. But he was a scientist (self-taught) and he had a deep desire to see these lands explored and documented for the first time. Not out of any nationalist interest—but purely out of genuine curiosity. He was not funded by the government like Lewis and Clark and so he had to go out and find funds where he could to support his explorations. The National Geographic Society agreed to publish the account of the trip, and Powell accepted that because he needed funds for further explorations. His first trip was vasty under-resourced and the theory was that by publishing pictures and scientific results in a more broad written form he would encourage Congress or others to fund subsequent research expeditions. A purely scientific report with metrics and bland observations was unlikely to inspire public interest.

It’s the kind of adventure writing that first attracted me to travel and exploration;  in my early days I read Joseph Conrad and Mark Twain and Herman Melville and Jack London and of course watched 70’s television with Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Daktari and ‘Born Free’.

No other news of interest this day.

Photos of a nice long bike ride today in the area around Chagrin Falls. Finally got a few hills to climb in some iconic Ohio farm country. Also pictures and video from the Hillbilly Casino show and a couple of random ones from the week including catching up with a few friends for drinks.

At the HC show, there are a couple of photos of the big bass player (disgrace on the bass) standing in front of a young girl who was at the show with her father. Cool photo.

What else would I drink when watching Hillbilly Casino and The Whiskey Daredevils

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