Friday, February 23, 2007

Landmark Bank Acquired by 1st Pacific

This press release
has all the details.

I was one of the 15 original founders of this bank,
and served on the board of directors until October, 2006.

I learned a lot.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flag from the Kennedy Inauguration

January 20, 1961

It seemed as good an excuse as any to cut classes:
The inaguration of President John F. Kennedy
was going to take place just 70 miles from my college,
and on a Friday,
so it all added up to a Road Trip.

I piled a few friends into "Golden Rod"
my yellow/black '53 Mercury hardtop coupe,
and drove through the snow
to get to Washington DC just in time for the show.

While all eyes were turned toward Kennedy
as he delivered his inaugural speech
(click here to read it)
I had my eyes on the very interesting flags
lining Pennsylvania Avenue.
What a perfect memento of
this great moment in history.
So I "liberated" it.

This flag adorned my college dorm rooms,
and my bachelor pads thereafter,
until the arrival of
"She Who Must Be Obeyed"
whose choices in matters of decorating the marital home
did not include this great flag.

So it was consigned to my empty childhood room,
where my younger brother "liberated" it from me,
and in his care it had remained for some 35 years,
so long that I had completely forgotten it.
Until, just a couple of years ago,
he told me quite casually:
"I have something for you".

It was like meeting an old friend.

And so, this great flag,
with so many memories of my early years,
now hangs proudly on the wall
in Mikie's Fun House.

In the fullness of time,
and after enjoying the flag and the memories
I returned the flag to the then-current mayor of D.C.
admitting my crime, and the circumstances,
without fear of retribution because I was sure 
that the statue of limitations had expired.

He was kind enough to send me this letter:

Monday, February 19, 2007

What's it all about?

Great Video #1

UK Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees speaks first as an astronomer, and then as "a concerned member of the human race." With stunning imagery and simulations, he places the earth in its cosmic context, shedding light on the birth, and (ongoing) evolution of the universe. "In the grand scheme of all time," Rees says, "The 21st century would be a quarter second in June." Still it's a pivotal moment: The first time in history when humans can materially change ourselves and our planet. So the real challenge for 21st century scientists is to provide the moral compass needed to harnass our discoveries safely and effectively. Sir Martin Rees is an astrophysisict, and Master of Trinity College at Cambridge. He's author, most recently, of Our Final Century. (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 18:10)

Great Video #2

Author Robert Wright argues that history has an arrow: That humans have continued to evolve -- if not biologically, than culturally and technologically -- toward greater complexity and intelligence. He also explains the concept behind his book, "Nonzero": That life is a nonzero sum game, where there can be more than one winner, and that civilization evolved thanks to such endeavors, which reward cooperation, rather than competition. His guarded optimism is tinged with a deep worry over the growing prevalence of grass-roots hatred. His hope: that the intelligent pursuit of self-interest will actually be the world's salvation. Robert Wright is author of The Moral Animal and NonZero. He also hosts an excellent interview series called (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:54)

Great Video #3

Photographer Phil Borges displays his stunning portraits, documenting the world's disappearing cultures, from persecuted monks in Tibet to embattled tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon. He also shares inspiring results from his digital-storytelling workshops, which give indigenous teenagers tools for cultural preservation and self-expression. A former dentist, Phil Borges rediscovered his passion for photography, and spent the last 25 years documenting indigenous cultures around the world. His work collected in several books, including Tibetan Portrait and Enduring Spirit. In 2001, he founded Bridges to Understanding, an organization that works with teenagers worldwide, promoting cultural preservation and exchange through digital storytelling. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:19)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wow! Must-see video for Inspiration

In this stunning talk, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, many of which are disappearing, as ancestral land is lost and languages die. (50 percent of the world's 6000 languages are no longer taught to children.) Against a backdrop of extraordinary photos and stories that ignite the imagination, Davis argues that we should be concerned not only for preserving the biosphere, but also the "ethnosphere" which he describes as "the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness." An anthropologist and botanist by training, Davis has traveled the world, living among indigenous cultures. He's written several books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow and Light at the Edge of the World. (Recorded February 2003 during the TED conference, in Monterey, CA. Duration: 22:44)

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Sent to me by a friend in Germany,
this excellent Spitfire video
reminds me so much of my
adventure of a lifetime
flying my open cockpit biplane
throughout Europe
(and flying the Spitfire in England).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Miyamoto Musashi's 21 precepts

  1. "Accept everything just the way it is."
  2. "Do not seek pleasure for its own sake."
  3. "Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling."
  4. "Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world."
  5. "Be detached from desire your whole life long."
  6. "Do not regret what you have done."
  7. "Never be jealous."
  8. "Never let yourself be saddened by a separation."
  9. "Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others."
  10. "Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love."
  11. "In all things have no preferences."
  12. "Be indifferent to where you live."
  13. "Do not pursue the taste of good food."
  14. "Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need."
  15. "Do not act following customary beliefs."
  16. "Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful."
  17. "Do not fear death."
  18. "Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age."
  19. "Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help."
  20. "You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour."
  21. "Never stray from the Way."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Trouble with Poolshooter blog

The poolshooter blog was disabled
in a false positive identification as a spam blog,
but of course it is not.
Very frustrating trying to find out why,
and how to contact Blogger support,
which I have just finally done as of 4 minutes ago.
They say there is a grace period to be able to restore it.
Here's hoping!


After 36 hours of frustration,
Blogger finally got my pool blog back online,
but under the wrong URL!!
At least another bucketload of angst later,
they corrected that mistake,
and now all is right with the world.