The Year of Living Stressfully…

Cue a younger Mel Gibson running through the streets of some South American city… Then, fade to black…

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So, I FINALLY had more than two-minutes to sit down and catch up on the blog… 

Last year (2008) was probably the most stressful year I've had in the last ten. Mostly, it was needlessly so. And lately, I've been asking myself what changed from previous years?

-There was assorted market nonsense and dumbassery. 

-The inept and generally corrupt governing body (especially its leaders).

-A seemingly more pervasive fear-mongering by the so-called news media.

-A general lack of accountability among government and corporate "officials."

-Getting injured three times in twelve months.

-Et cetera…

All of this, along with my wife voluntarily leaving her position at Hewlett Packard back in May, has helped make the last year a definite "bear" year. Across the board…

Alongside of that though was how I reacted to all of this. Coach Tony Blauer has a great saying that I think about whenever things get tough: "Are you feeling challenged or threatened?"

Challenged means you're looking for solutions to whatever problem(s) face you. Threatened means you are reluctant to engage them, and are thus at the mercy of whatever the "threat" may be.

And I was definitely feeling threatened this last year. I withdrew and "hunkered" down, feeling the need to — psychologically at least — go fetal for a while. As a result this last year was one of the worst I've had both financially as well as creatively. All my trading was off (though it did seem to start to reverse — for the better — in December). And creatively? Well, in the last four month I haven't written more than a total of seven hours (maybe 5000 words)… Not to mention: no painting, no drawing, no sculpture, no digital art, et cetera…

Nothing.

What the hell was THAT about?

Sigh…

Since I can't go back in the past and have a "do over," all I can do, is pick myself up, dust myself off and get back to it.

So that's the plan.

For 2009, it is going to be a return to "firing on all cylinders." Creatively, financially, et cetera…

What am I going to do differently, you ask? Well, along with some physical goals that I wrote about here, the first thing is I am going to do is: plan my work (both trading, as well as project) and then work the plan — which I did NOT do most of last year. 

The second thing is: I am going to cut back on my internet classroom time (I've been studying endocrinology part-time for the last three years ** ahem** for fun)… I know, I know… 🙂

The third thing is: I am going to severely cut back on my forum posting/blog reading/news gathering, et cetera… As I have let it become a time sink of unimaginable proportions. 

And lastly: I am going to do my best to NOT be overly influenced by people in perceived positions of authority — no matter the venue. As I have found that, over the last few years, I have let those types of individuals derail aspects of my life — to fulfill their agenda(s) — and not mine… And it NEVER turns out well for me…

So, onwards and upwards, and a return to "greatness!"

Who's with me? 🙂

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Best Film Trailer I've Ever Seen

Happy New Year!

Not a lot of time to put up a post the last couple of weeks… What with the holidays, family coming to visit, and staying… hanging out with my family, et cetera…


I have been thinking a lot about the past year — as this time of year is really about reflection (for me). And while I have somethings I want to get down "on paper," I don't have the time to post it right now…

Hopefully I'll get to it tomorrow or Sunday…

So for today, I'll just close up some tags I've collected the last few weeks…

Have you seen a clock like this?


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A very funny "true" video, with an all-star cast:


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For the science geek…


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And finally, there's this… I got it as an email and thought it was both funny, and very, very sad…

 A MODERN PARABLE . . 

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.


On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. 


Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person

steering, while the American team had 8 people steerin g and 1 person rowing. 


Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. 


They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. 


Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents, and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. 


They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners, and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes, and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. 


The next year the Jap anese won by two miles. 


Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India . 


The End. 


Here's something else to think about: 

Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. 


TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results: 


TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. 


Ford folks are still scratching their heads. 

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IF THIS WEREN'T TRUE, IT MIGHT BE FUNNY!


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Stay tuned for some ruminations on the last year, as well as what/where I want to take things in the new year…


I hope you all had a safe, wonderful, amazing holiday season!


Ciao for now!