Tag Archives: politics

Going Deep

21 Jan

In honor of MLK Week, let’s go deep beyond appearances and petty differences to the content of our character:

• “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people,
or gifted people, but for deep people.”

― Richard J. Foster

• “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

• “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

― Abraham Lincoln

• “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

― Martin Luther King

 

An unsolicited but definitely not unappreciated photo a California PR friend sent this week of the MLK Memorial in our nation's capital.

An unsolicited but definitely not unappreciated photo a California PR friend sent this week of the MLK Memorial in our nation’s capital.

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Thinking About Turkeys

28 Nov
You are what you eat, consumer. My favorite preacher said two things, the calendar and the checkbook, indicate what we value. "They don't lie."

You are what you eat, consumer. My favorite preacher said two things, the calendar and the checkbook, indicate what we value. “They don’t lie.”

Life is funny. And all too often not the ha-ha kind. We obsess over vanity, media hype and a lot of other stuff instead of important things like how our families, neighbors and communities are doing.

For instance, Kim Kardashian, who I’m told is famous for being famous, recently bared her backside in a magazine photo shoot, and the prattling classes, of course, had to fixate on her “break the Internet” publicity stunt. I don’t know which to be more mad at — the media and ‘Twittersphere’ for taking the bait or her for calling it an “art project” designed to boost her self-confidence.

Then there’s Ray Rice, the NFL and Jameis Winston. The first did the unthinkable when knocking out his eventual wife (on camera) in an elevator. In its bungling of the domestic abuse case, the NFL almost gave the former Baltimore Ravens offensive standout, whom my cousin called “probably the most cocky guy I ever met in my [sports wealth management] days,” some defensive ground to stand on. As for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, aka ‘Shameis Jameis,’ he recently added a referee shove to his list of infractions that include shouting public obscenities, attempting to steal crab legs from a grocery store and an alleged and still-under-investigation sexual assault.

I often wonder why we argue political issues. Is it because our daddy voted one way all of his life? Or perhaps because a certain 24-7 news channel floods us with slanted commentary? I’d rather focus on the issues (information before opinion) and, for example, I can’t see how 10 to 20 million more of my fellow Americans getting health insurance is a bad thing. A good friend and former legislative director for a U.S. senator told me recently, “Putting people on Medicaid is no great win — talk to anyone who has ever tried to do that paperwork or find a doctor who takes Medicaid.” Better than those people dying, I say.

Speaking of health issues, my little brother from fraternity days recently had a big milestone in his amazing recovery from “necrotizing pancreatitis, a disease where your pancreas ‘eats’ itself which, in turn, affects the kidney, liver and various digestive processes. I went through 13 surgeries, dialysis and had a bout of psychosis where I saw things. I am still learning how to walk.” After finally getting out of the hospital, Willy wrote, “It’s still not easy — I am now a Type 1 diabetic, I can’t walk well and I have five tubes coming out of my lung, abdomen and stomach. However, I am dealing with it all.” And I probably stressed about traffic the very next day. Give me the Turkey Award on this one!

If you’re like this humble blogger you spend way too much time on trivial things such as saving a buck here or finding a beer special there and way too little time putting money in the offering plate at church or in the hand of the down-on-his-luck man at the end of the interstate off ramp. Let’s keep things in perspective and be thankful for what we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 5 Ways to Befriend a Brewer

12 Mar

With great pride, I can say that I have achieved one of the ultimate goals in life: having a neighbor launch a brewery. Should hard work and a little bit of luck ever put you in the same situation, here are some important rules you might want to follow:

1. Make sure your brewer neighbor feels respected for his other talents and abilities. If he wants to fix your lawnmower and the lock on your front door, let him do it. If he helps you clear a fallen tree and haul off some old deck furniture, then more power to him. After all, you should care about the total person (whose day job totally rocks).

2. When walking the dog, do not loiter in front of your brewer neighbor’s house for more than 45 minutes. Also, continual gestures toward your empty 32 oz. mug opposite your leash hand may be a turn-off for Mrs. Brewer.

3. If your brewer neighbor doesn’t measure up in some important aspects of the man code — like not knowing a whole lot about sports or favoring skateboarding over golf — just let it go. And realize that you’d go to see the championship of the North American Tiddlywinks Association if your neighbor was organizing the tailgate.

4. Even a brew bro-mance has its costs and obligations. You might as well listen to and learn from your neighbor’s ample beer-making knowledge. Some of it can be pretty interesting. For heaven’s sake, don’t just stare at his (ice) chest! Also, if things get rough & tumble out on the town, show some solidarity, if not muscle. There are plenty more bars to get kicked out of, but, odds are, not any more professional brewing neighbors.

5. Like beer, word of your neighbor’s brewery should be shared. It’s the least you can do. After all, the brewer brings together black and white, liberals and conservatives — heck — even Florida and Georgia fans. Let’s see a lawyer or accountant neighbor do that.

Neighbor Nathan, co-founder of Eventide Brewing and all-around nice guy, poses with a rather clingy fan at the brewery's launch party earlier this year.

Neighbor Nathan (right), co-founder of Eventide Brewing and all-around nice guy, poses with a rather clingy fan at the brewery’s launch party earlier this year.