“I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened at Xerox. When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it. I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two”

Excerpt From: Isaacson, Walter. “Steve Jobs.”

This little pearl was hidden deep in Steve’s Autobiography interestedly enough in the chapter titled Legacy.  A good friend of mine has a saying “Legacy over currency”.  Truer words were never spoken.

Got Apple

What I learned in life is…May 9, 2013 by Paulo Coelho
What I learned in life is,

That no matter how good a person is,

sometimes they can hurt you & because of this we must forgive.

It takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it ..

We don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change..

The circumstances and the environment influence on our lives,

but we are the one who is responsible for ourselves..

That you have to control your acts or they will control you..

That patience requires much practice.. 

that there are people who love us,

but simply don’t know how to show it..

That sometimes the person you think will hurt you and make you fall..

Is instead one of the few who will help you to get up..

You should never tell a child that dreams are fake, it would be a tragedy if they knew..

It’s not always enough to be forgiven by someone,

in most cases you have to forgive yourself first..

That no matter in how many pieces your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop to fix it ..

Maybe God wants us to meet all the wrong people first before meeting the right one..

So when we finally meet the right one we are grateful for that gift ..

When the door of happiness closes, another door opens..

but often we look so long at the closed one.. we don’t see what was open for us ..

The best kind of a friend is the kind in which you can sit on a porch and walk…

Without saying a word & when you leave it feels it was the best conversation you ever had.

It’s true we don’t know what we have until we find it, but its also true,

we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives..

It only takes a minute to offend someone, an hour to like someone,

a day to love someone, but it takes a life time to forget someone.

Don’t look for appearances, they can be deceiving, don’t go for wealth even that can fade,

Find someone who makes you smile, because it only takes a smile to make a day better,

find what makes your heart smile..

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much..

that you wish you can take them out of your dream and hug them for real..

Dream what you want, go wherever you want to go.. because you have only one life..

and one chance to do the things you want to do ..

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything,

they just make the best of everything that comes their way.

The best future is based on the forgotten past..

You can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

If ~

November 4, 2016

If you can keep your head when all about you       Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 
If you can make one heap of all your winnings 

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 

And lose, and start again at your beginnings 

    And never breathe a word about your loss; 

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you 

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 

    If all men count with you, but none too much; 

If you can fill the unforgiving minute 

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

By Runyard Kipling 

Half Way Down

September 8, 2016

I recently read a beautiful story about a little 4 year old girl who lived in NY and observed, as children do, people around her in reaction to the 9-11 tragedy. Eventually she asked where do people go when they die. The troubled father took some good advice from his life coach who said “answer your daughter’s questions honestly but don’t volunteer any unsolicited information. Don’t elaborate, don’t over-explain, he said. Just answer the question in its simplest form. That’s all she wants.”  In further discussion with his mother she said I believe there’s a poem for that and offered this poem by A.A. Milne titled. Halfway Down.

Halfway down the stairs

Is a stair

Where I sit.

There isn’t any

Other stair

Quite like

It.

I’m not at the bottom, 

I’m not at the top;

So this is the stair

Where

I always

Stop.
Halfway up the stairs

Isn’t up,

And it isn’t down.

It isn’t in the nursery,

It isn’t in the town.

And all sorts of funny thoughts

Run round my head;

“It isn’t really

Anywhere!

It’s somewhere else

Instead!”

I like this in that it explains perfectly where we go when we die. 

13 Virtues

September 5, 2016

In 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. 

Much can be learned from studying his credo. Putting this practice to work will be the true test. I believe even Franklin understood this as he said “Well done is better than well said.”
1.  Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2.  Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3..Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4.  Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5.  Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6.  Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7.  Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8.  Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9.  Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

The orange lesson

November 16, 2015

In the last few years Dr. Wayne W. Dyer used to always bring an orange on stage as a prop for an object lesson.

“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” He would asked someone in the audience, in this case a 12 year old boy.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”
“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”
“No!” he laughed.
“What about grapefruit juice?”
No!”
What would come out of it?”
“Orange juice, of course.”
“Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”
He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point.
“Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”

I nodded. “Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”
It’s one of the great lessons of life. What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing—your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you, it’s your choice.
When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes anything other than love, it’s because that’s what you’ve allowed to be inside. Once you take away all those negative things you don’t want in your life and replace them with love, you’ll find yourself living a highly functioning life.
I’ve been in this place many times. The world squeezes you and those feelings of inadequacy and fear and self doubt come out. The challenge increases when you add the necessity of  establishing and enforcing boundaries in a kind, yet firm way.  The balancing act we all face of wanting to help without harming.  I’m still working on developing that foundation of peace and love. For me it’s been a lifetime journey and I still haven’t mastered it. But I knew there was a reason I like oranges.

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This Too Shall Pass

September 30, 2015

Zen stories can teach us so much. Here is a favorite. I love it because life is always throwing challenge at us and it is very easy to get caught up in feeling overwhelmed and down about our instinctual judgement of our situation. If we reexamine we can almost always reset our glass to half full. 

According to an ancient story, there once lived a king in a Middle Eastern land. The king was continuously torn between happiness and agony. The smallest things could make him really upset or give him an intense emotional reaction, so his happiness easily turned into disappointment and despair.
One day the king got tired of himself and started seeking a way out. He sent for a wiseman living in his kingdom. The wiseman was reputed for being enlightened. When he arrived, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you bring me something that gives balance, peace and serenity in my life? I will pay whatever price you like.” The wiseman replied, “I may be able to help you, but the price is so great that not even your kingdom would be enough payment for it. Therefore I will give it to you as a gift, if you will honor it.” The king gave his assurances, and the wiseman left.
A few weeks later he returned, and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box, and found a simple gold ring inside. The inscription on the ring read, “This, too, shall pass”. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wiseman replied, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch the ring and read the inscription. That way, you will always be at peace.

  

Many of us would probably be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect. ~ Norman Maclean

The years are rolling by, and now in my 55th year I feel more in touch with the rhythm of life.   The beginnings and endings.  The success and the failures.  The pleasure and the pain. How you need one to appreciate the other, and trying to pause to savor the moments as they come. . I wonder this year, as I struggle to keep up with my river brother, twenty years younger, how much longer these treasured trips will continue.

This was a weird year in many ways. We had a very mild winter, a very wet May and then it got hot real fast. We also broke tradition in that my compadre  left 2 days earlier than I did due to my dad’s medical condition and my trip to help care for him in SF. When I finally pulled into camp Don had procured the penthouse corner spot that we had coveted for so many years. The one up on the hill in the corner over looking the river.  I pulled out 2 camp chairs and we spent about 3 hours catching up.  Then almost without words we wadered up and headed to our favorite spot to begin this year’s hunt for trout.

We hike over the sage covered bluff and through knee high water to a place we’ve come to have so many good memories, and such success.  We sat down on the bank of the river and waited.  The river was quiet, which seemed to set the tone for the trip. It took a few days before we finally tracked down the fabled green drakes quite a way upstream and had a good few mornings as the hatch came off about 10 am. One day even doubling up, a first for the river doctors on this stretch of river. Perhaps it was fish karma, perhaps the fish Gods felt sorry for us.  The day before,  Don took an expensive swim soaking his camera,iPhone and dropping his keys in the river.  Either way this morning the fishing was good.  We had many targets to throw to and by switching patterns to a PMD we had the fly they would take, if your drift was right.

The past year we had hash tagged our way into building up social media frenzy.  Note to self fishing and social media don’t mix very well. After a few days on a morning, evening routine we decided to take a break and spend a day in the drift boat.  We were on our way back one evening from a Madison float from Lyons to Ruby. When Don’s phone rang and it was a fly fishing friend. He and another guy had come to Island Park and as it turned out set up their tent less than 20 yards from our trailer in the penthouse. Don and I weren’t happy. We were tired, hungry.  We’d stayed on the river so late all of the restaurants had closed for the evening.  We weren’t expecting, nor had we invited any guests. Needless to say we had a short “come to Jesus meeting”.  My feet, still wet from wet wading, were freezing. We got to bed about 2 am after wolfing down some of Deena’s Taco Soup. and I tried all night to get my feet warm.  The next morning when we got back from fishing the morning hatch they were gone.   Later that night we made a visit to their new camp with a 12 pack of Moose Drool to exchange stories and patch things up. We heard stories about Pyramid Lake, and exchanged photography tips, and even reminisced about old trips to the Green River, years ago.  Listened to stories about the characters who roam the banks of this fabled water and shared a little fire water.  Again we didn’t get to bed until 2am as Don’s ’98 expedition wouldn’t start.  Luckily, another Utah on the fly guy, drove us back to camp.  The plan was to fish the morning hatch on Saturday and then look into fixing the car. I told Don we should switch that up as the next day was Sunday and most repair shops close early on Saturday. Elk Creek Station and a mechanic named Joe really helped us out and after a remote service call, a special GM tool (a Hammer) and a tow had us back business. Repairing a broken starter wire. It was that morning we doubled up. The plan was to get a double selfie, but neither of us landed the spirited wild rainbows. Which prevented us from the social media problems mentioned above.  Funny how sometimes the universe takes care of things.  Still it was a fitting finish to a great trip. On another note Brad was back guiding. We spent some time catching up and we met his sister Tam who was hanging out with Whitefish Ed.  The last day we went into the Trout Hunter for breakfast and ran into Pat who had been fishing the lower river. In retrospect we should have tried at least one float down on that section as the ranch is always tough. Live and learn. There is so much good water that it can be overwhelming. But Pat had told us he had been doing well below.  We also ran into Jim from North Carolina on Sunday who said that the past few years were the toughest he’d seen in over 40 years of fishing that river. This year Flavs, and PMD’s sometimes took precedence over the predominant Green and Brown Drakes. So my HFork box expanded again as did my appreciation for this sacred water. As I like to say “The fishing is always good.  But sometimes the catching isn’t so good!”

Letting Go

May 19, 2015

I purchased it new for $600 bucks this industrial grade lawn mower. It’s a 2-cycle you know. These things run forever because they have half the parts of a 4- cycle engine. It’s hard for me to believe that was 25 years ago. Last year I dropped $400 into a rebuild of this tool because they don’t even make 2-cycle mowers anymore and by God it’s lasted 25 years. How do you top that?  That was last year. This year the blade clutch wouldn’t engage. I faced the difficult decision of replacement. In hindsight I should have listened to my wife and upgraded last year.

I lost my dad when I was 11. No, he didn’t pass away, but he left my sister and I and moved out of state and met a girl and fell in love and made another family. As I landed in San Francisco and drove North through the the city and over the Golden Gate Bridge I thought how strange it was. This was the first time I’d made this journey by myself. Usually he was there to pick me up.  This time we were both on our own journeys.  He was battling for his life and I was trying to get beside him.   I’d fought hard to rekindle our relationship once he moved back from Saudi Arabia after 15 years, and we’d come pretty far I thought as I stood by his bedside in Marin County Hospital ICU.  I resemble him so much that I could literally see myself laying in that bed 20 years from now. As our parents age and we don’t know how many good years we have left, it’s hard to put into words all of the emotions that you feel.  Lonely, thankful, introspective, melancholy and blue are among them. Memories flood over you and through you.  You ask and try to answer all of the tough questions about life.  What does it all mean?  How am I doing at it? Have I been a good son, father, husband, grandfather?  What were my last words to my pops?  Luckily I didn’t have to let go of Dad.  Not yet…

Letting go, living in the moment and accepting what the universe hands you in that moment all have to do with what is real and really all we have.  Why is it so hard to do in practice?   Why is change so hard?  Why do we fight it?  How do I evolve as I need to, and how do I learn to let go…

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“You can paint it any color as long as it’s black” is a famous quote by Henry Ford. For me black is a cool color for a bike and my first cruiser was just that. But I can appreciate any good paint job. My new bike is blue. Coincidentally blue is the most commonly listed favorite color among men, as evidenced by the well-known fact that bluebies can be rigid blokes who stick to what’s familiar and stubbornly do things their way, even if there’s a better way (like mine). That’s blue’s dark side. Conversely, it’s associated with loyalty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and sincerity. Bluebies make true-blue friends. Blue conveys a sense of calm and security all of which seem to speak to why I chose blue and why it works for me.  Not to say that my next one won’t be orange which is also a favorite color but when applied to the bike color psychology means I’m an extroverted risk taker who doesn’t keep a clean house.