Christmas 2013: The Gift of Experience – January 2014

January 20, 2014 3 comments

In the past my way of doing Christmas gifts for Sara was buying the most expensive thing I could think of to prove my love and give me the opportunity to spend money…I love spending money. This year – now that we only have 18 years to save for Mo’s college – we went another route. We set aside money in our budget so that each month we could have some sort of unique experience in Orlando. Since it needed to be complicated I came up with a game we will play each month that includes three clues that are opened leading up to the event. I’ll make sure to update the experiences we have throughout the year.

photo 1

The clues are personal…in that they aren’t the kind of thing I want to take credit for publicly.

January’s experience was the Crystal River Manatee Festival. There were no manatees at this festival. Sara loves the sea cows and we drove two hours to see some, but unfortunately they wanted us to get on a boat and ride out for 45 minutes in 40 degree weather. Therefore, we had fun looking at the junky crafts that are the kind of things that inundate this kind of event. We had fun, and it was worth it, but we will be forever hurt that there were no manatees at the Manatee Festival.

Categories: Other

Moses Benjamin Roberts is Here! (and has been for three months)

January 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Sara and I were given the best gift ever in 2013: Moses Benjamin Roberts. Born on October 15 at 4:00 am after 24 hours in labor. Born at 4:00 am after 24 hours in labor. Born at 4:00 am after 24 hours in labor. (I purposely wrote that three times because that is how crazy labor was.) Moses Benjamin emerged a 9 lb grunting mess. He is now three months old, and this is the first time that free time has matched up with nap time for some writing. I would post the audio of his birth, but I think it might be the craziest hollering on the internet, and that was because of my response when I saw Moses for the first time – not Sara pushing. It was some sort of hybrid between a grunt, high pitch yelp and weeping. We’re so excited to have a healthy, happy baby. Sara is killing it as a mom, and I’m lucky to have such an incredible woman caring for our child as I go out and kill our dinner.

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Categories: Announcement

The Blood of Heroes by James Donovan

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo – And the Sacrifice that Forged a Nation by James Donovan should be required reading for anyone who would consider themselves a true Texan.

How I wept after I read this book. I mourned my birth taking place in Arkansas – even after being consoled by my father who promised I was concieved in Texas. The only solace I took in my foriegn birth was that the greatest men at the Alamo- Crockett, Travis, Bowie- weren’t born in Texas. These men died on this sacred land, and I can only wish for the same fate.

In all seriousness the men at the Alamo knew they were going to die, but they continued on until their last breath. When we are able to live for something much greater than ourselves our lives go from mediocre to extraordinary, because the success or failure of our efforts are felt beyond our own small circle. I have been searching for a book to read when my child turns 16 that will help them understand what it is to strive for greatness when everyone is against you, and I am ecstatic to have found this book.

I rate this Required Reading.

Categories: Book Review, History

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

The Power of Habit explains how habits form and how we can change them. It’s a cycle that looks like this:

Cue – Routine – Reward,

For example: Stress – Coffee – Reward of caffeine high

The idea is that if you can identify the cue that is setting you to engage in the harmful routine you can replace that routine with something else that is healthy. The example above becomes:

Stress – run – reward of runner’s high

That is really the extent of the book, but it has some really interesting stories that are worth reading.

My wife Sara – lovin’ – Sara. That’s a habit I won’t quit – my wife’s a reward all in herself. Amen?

Categories: Book Review, Business

The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter F. Drucker and Friends

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization  are as follows:

  1. What is our mission?
  2. Who is our customer?
  3. What does our customer value?
  4. What are our results?
  5. What is our plan?

I suggest buying this book and reading through it, because it provides such an easy framework to kill any interview you go into.

Categories: Book Review, Business

Saucy Time with John Adams

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m reading David McCullough’s John Adams which I will review once I get through it all, but this was too good not to share immediately. From what I have read you can imagine Adams to have the same reputation and character as a Billy Graham, which makes this all the better. This is from his time in France negotiating the future of an alliance with the newly formed US:

“Mr. Adams,” she had said, “by your name I conclude you are descended from the first man and woman, and probably in your family may be preserved the tradition which may resolve a difficulty which I could never explain. I never could understand how the first couple found out the art of lying together?”

Assisted by an interpreter, Adams replied that his family resembled the first couple both in name and in their frailties and that no doubt “instinct” was the answer to her question. “For there was a physical quality in us resembling the power of electricity or of the magnet, by which when a pair approached within striking distance they flew together . . . like two objects in an electrical experiment.”

“Well,” she retorted. “I know not how it was, but this I know, it is a very happy shock.”

McCullough, David (2001-05-22). John Adams (p. 191). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Categories: Biography, Book Review

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

January 25, 2013 Leave a comment

I was familiar with Isaacson after reading the Jobs biography, so when looking for a book chronicling the life of Franklin I landed on his. The narrative style of the author and the new information I gained about Franklin made for an incredible read. BOOK HERE.

Lessons:

One: Franklin could pass for a modern day millennial. He was non-confrontational and could put someone down while smiling at them.

Two: They struggled then – as we do now – with the need to treat people as individuals to ensure justice. This was his response to a gang of Presbyterians that were murdering all Indians they were coming in contact with:

“Should any man with a freckled face and red hair kill a wife or child of mine, [by this reasoning] it would be right for me to revenge it by killing all the freckled red-haired men, women and children I could afterwards anywhere meet.” Isaacson, Walter (2003-07-01). Benjamin Franklin (p. 212). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Three: Finally, if you need a pick-me-up to get excited about changing the world, the following quote is worth remembering:

“Rebellion to Tyrants is obedience to God.” Isaacson, Walter (2003-07-01). Benjamin Franklin (p. 316). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Use of this quote applies to the following situations:

  1. When the cop pulls you over for speeding,
  2. When the Subway sandwich artist charges you for a foot-long that is only 11”,
  3. When your mom makes you clean your room, and
  4. When the boss asks you to stay late.
Categories: Biography, Book Review