inconceivable, yes… impossible, no.

please stop the voices

I’ve posted before about innovation and creativity.  Recent events have brought this back into my daily thoughts and how I continue to try and define myself.  Those are mere details that I don’t want to get into, however I do have some things to share.

you’re not helping

On Twitter, someone tweeted about this incredible post (apologies to you; I can’t find the original tweet):

The Makers of Things

In the late 1800s, the Brooklyn Bridge was built with no power tools, no heavy machinery, and only a basic, evolving understanding of how to make steel. It’s not these facts, but the stories surrounding the facts that inspire me when I take a good, long stare at a suspension bridge. But first…

Rands has quite a following.  I had not seen his blog before but you can bet I’ll be following it.   To me, the message is that despite the impossible, don’t stop trying.  Sure, I over simplified it, but that’s okay.  It’s such a great post, any summation I do would not do the post justice.  Just go read it.


However, it does help slam some things I’ve been juggling into perspective.  I don’t have or know all the answers, but I am not afraid to try new things and take some lumps, (or teeth marks on my skull) for something I believe in.  Change is scary.  New ideas can seem silly.  The wrong motivation can really crush the spirit.

In preparation of this post, I was trying to come up with a catchy title so I looked up innovation in the thesaurus:

Main Entry: innovation
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: change, novelty
Synonyms: addition, alteration, contraption, cutting edge*, departure, deviation, introduction, last word*, latest thing*, leading edge*, modernism, modernization, modification, mutation, newness, notion, permutation, shift, variation, vicissitude, wrinkle*
Antonyms: custom, habit, old, old hat, rut, tradition

Naturally, the synonyms are all familiar to me, but what was interesting was seeing them in this context.  The synonyms that speak to me are:

  • addition
  • alteration
  • departure
  • deviation
  • introduction
  • leading edge
  • modernism
  • modernization
  • modification
  • mutation
  • newness
  • shift


The element that all these words have in common, is “change.”  Could the essential nugget of wisdom of innovation boil down to one thing?  Change?  Yeah, I think it does.

I’m conflicted.  I like to think of myself as an “Agent of Change” but I sure feel like a jerk saying that.   And there are probably people out there who think I’m a jerk for saying it, but the truth is, I do like change.

what about the risk?

But what about risk?  I’m not afraid of the risk of a change or a new idea, what I am shy about, is the risk of exposing myself.  For the most part, I feel like I am confident in who I am, but it’s one thing to pitch my ideas to higher ups or more experienced people in my arena.  It’s a personal risk, for sure, but also it’s pulling back the kimono a bit, right?  It’s exposing myself to someone who could squash my spirit or worse.  So it is risk? Or fear? Or both?

What holds me back?  What holds you back?

Alright, I feel like I am rambling a bit.  I think I went down the rabbit hole.  Anyways, where was I…

Back to innovation.  Whatever word you pick to use to describe it, I’m okay.

a good spy story

If you anything about me personally, you’ll know that I love a good spy story. When I was a kid watching 007 movies with my Dad, I loved imagining that I’d grow up to be a spy like James Bond. It wasn’t so much the license to kill, rather the gadgets and the cloak and dagger. I have really enjoyed the Bourne Identity movies as I picked up a copy of the original book and loved that, too. As far as I am concerned the movie and the book were different enough that it was almost like two different stories.

I read with relish, Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit by Eric Haney. I was enthralled by the spy-craft aspects of the book and was often jealous that the need to sneak past security or evade militants didn’t come up more often in my current line of work.

If you happened to read my blogs from the beginning, (unlikely based on the stats), then you might be aware that I posted about an amazing show from the BBC:

If you check out the links in the post you can visit the BBC pages about the show.

Tonight, I became aware of an excellent read over at Wired:

Continue reading

the music all around us

As I mentioned before, I usually listen to my iPod while I put our son to sleep. Tonight, we have guests in from out of town so my son is sleeping with us in our bed. I had my iPod and he wanted to hear what I was listening to. He is six and in his kindergarten class, they were playing Bob Marley and he liked it a lot. We listened to a R.L. Burnside song, then a Midnight Oil song came on. He didn’t like it at first then he said he liked it a lot. Later, as I was skipping songs I thought he might not like, we hit another Midnight Oil song and he wanted to hear it. I told him the band was from Australia and it was a far away place. I also told him I saw them in concert once. That got me thinking about all the concerts I had gone to.

Laugh as you might, the first concert I had ever been to was Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I think I was in 8th grade or something. I had their LP and the concert was great. I remember I really enjoyed it. So, here’s a little list of concerts I had gone to. I might make this a little more prominent in the future. This is just a running list, so don’t expect to be in order.

  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • 7 Seconds
  • Dag Nasty
  • Circle Jerks
  • Butthole Surfers
    • Multiple times
  • The Tombstones
  • Drivin’ & Crying
  • B.A.L.L.
  • Das Damen
  • Morrissey
  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Midnight Oil
  • Skinny Puppy
    • Backstage and met the band
  • Front 242
    • Backstage and met the band
  • The Fall
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • The First and best Lollapalooza
    • Rollins Band
      • Saw them before
    • Nine Inch Nails
      • When they were still small
    • Butthole Surfers
      • Saw them before
    • Ice-T
      • somewhat entertaining
    • Living Color
      • I fell asleep after many beers
    • Siouxsie & the Banshees
      • The tour was good to her
    • Jane’s Addiction
      • OMFG!
  • Kiss
  • The Cult
  • Iggy Pop
  • My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult
    • Before they sold out
  • Depeche Mode
    • in 2006
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Who
  • The Cure
  • Ween
    • Several times
  • The Pixies
  • Stereolab
  • The Wedding Present
    • Several Times
  • Robyn Hitchcock
  • The Cramps
    • Maybe three times
  • The Fleshtones
  • Stray Cats
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • Flat Duo Jets
  • Gwar
  • Goober and Peas
  • Lime Spiders
  • Mojo Nixon
    • atleast twice
  • Southern Culture on the Skids
    • Countless times
  • Neil Young
  • Crowded House
    • Private Album release party with three open bars! Man oh man!
  • Madonna
    • A gift for my wife, but I had a great time, too!
  • Ministry

People I had a chance to see, but didn’t for some lame reason, and now regret it:

  • Lou Reed
  • The Pogues
    • yes, of course with Shane!
  • Sisters Of Mercy
  • The Smiths

People who I would have beaten up if I saw them back then:

  • Rick Astley

I am sure I’ll think of more as time goes on. And there were a slew of little bands in the various bars and clubs in Atlanta.

Crazy Ray.

I’ve wrestled with the fact that I am not too big on blogging about personal stuff, but I can share some of the cooler things in my life; current events, funny storys, and other oddities you can find on the internet.

Some friends of our family, when we were younger, lived in some rural place outside St. Louis. You had to drive down a long driveway to get to their house, and while you were on their driveway, you pasted this run down house. They said a guy named Crazy Ray lived there. Why was he Crazy Ray, and not something like Irriateable Ray? Good question. Apparently, Ray’s older brother played the accordion. And one of the family’s favorite pastime was to play accordion around a fire in a trash can when it was cold outside. Well, one day, Ray’s brother got too close to the fire and his accordion went up in flames. His brother died then and there as the family watched on helplessly. Now, that in itself is indeed a tragedy. And no doubt, it affected Ray in ways we can only imagine. But some of the stories that our hosts shared with us, I can’t help but think Ray had other problems and this was just another brick in the wall. Oh, btw, this happened before Ray was a teenager; he was then in his fifties when we heard these stories.

So now Ray was Crazy Ray. What kind of things did he do to deserve such a name? Well, quite a bit, actually. It seems that Ray had a problem with his arm. It looked kind of weird if you looked at it, kind of crooked. One time when he was cutting the yard, he got into a fight with a tree and broke his arm. He never went to the doctor nor had it set, so now it just looked kind of odd…

Ray used to have a dog. This dog loved to walk. In fact, there was a trail worn around Crazy Ray’s house that was rumored to be made by his crazy dog. So Ray used to walk his dog. Now, this wasn’t what you would think of as a normal walk. No, not just around the block for his dog to poop. Ray would walk his dog 20+ miles. So much did this dog walk, his pads were worn off his feet. So Ray wanted to keep going out, so he got a bike (he might have had it laying around, I don’t think he bought one just for this), and put his dog in the basket on the handlebars of the bike. Crazy Ray would ride around with his dog in the basket for 20+ miles also. Finally, the dog could no longer sit in the basket since he was sores on his bum.

So what did Ray do at this point with his dog? He ate him!