Zen and the Art of Truck Maintenance

Man, I did a lot this weekend. That’s not really bragging either more just a statement of fact. As I look back from Monday morning, I’m actually kind of impressed with myself. Not in the, “Oh my god you’re awesome, Dave” kinda way, but more in the, “Hm, good job, Dave” kinda way. Personally, I think that’s a great way to roll into Monday morning. Meet Monday with a list of accomplishments already under your belt and the week starts off with a momentum that just carries you along nicely. And if I decide sometime midweek that I need a… Read More »

Tai Chi’s Back

First, an announcement. Beginning this Saturday, February 11, 2012, I am starting up a new Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) class. Many of you may know that I’ve taught tai chi for many years and those of you who know me better will know that it was tai chi that started my fitness and personal growth career. It is only in the last year that I’ve not taught a class of some kind. I stopped last year when my father was sick, as I needed more time to devote to him and his care. Since his death it has taken me… Read More »

Covered Feeder

If you’ve been following my sporadic postings you know that the goats, Honey and Harriet, have eaten most, if not all, of the privet and wisteria available to them in the area I brought them back to clear. That means they’ve eaten all that they can reach or all that they’re willing to eat. A goat’s reputation for eating anything is, I’m sad to report, somewhat exaggerated. This reputation, I think, stems from their willingness to eat things other ruminants won’t. Cows and horses and sheep prefer pasture, grass. Goats will live off pasture but what they really like are… Read More »

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

“Just who do you think you are?” My mother asked me this many times growing up. Usually it was in the context of giving me a dressing down. Basically jumping my shit for something I had done that she didn’t like. The appropriate answer, of course, was, “Nothing.” “Nobody.” “A worm.” The whole point was to break me down, to make me feel bad about what I’d done and to recognize that she was bigger, badder and meaner than me.  And above all else below her. It’s this and other things that explain why we don’t talk anymore. But it’s… Read More »

Accountability

Accountability. It’s not really something I had considered until recently. I had always assumed that because I showed up, was consistent with my workouts and was perceived as a role model by others I was doing everything “right.” Beginning with my trip to St. Petersburg, Florida last fall, I started taking greater involvement in the apparatus my mentor, Elliott Hulse, has set up. I took advantage of the forum he and Mike Westerdal established with their Lean Hybrid Muscle-Reloaded product. At first I just started by posting my workouts. That generated some traffic from friends on the site and their… Read More »

Customer Service

Earlier today I was ramping up to write a vicious editorial on customer service. I was all set to lament its demise and to render to ashes by my verbal scathing a certain company from whom I felt the concept was sorely lacking. But not so, gentle reader. It took a little effort on my part but in the end I can say customer service is not entirely dead and there are some who do see the benefits of treating people decently and putting long term service over short term profit. Please understand, I, too, am a businessman. I’m all… Read More »

Busy vs Productive

One of the things that I’m working on this year is learning the difference between being busy and being productive. When I was in high school I had a job as an office intern. Being a teenager there really wasn’t much they could give me to do outside of what I felt was “busywork.” I hated it. I saw no point in doing work just for the sake of work and really wanted to get my hands into something that mattered. Now that I’m “all growed up” and working for myself, I find that I still have this same problem.… Read More »

Weekend

I am so glad to be back into my routine. The holidays are nice but travel can be disruptive, especially when there’s a mountain of work to be done. Traditionally I take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. We usually stay home and I use the time to spend time with my family and work on projects that are equal parts fun and necessary. This year we traveled to Tennessee to spend time with my Dad’s family. Since he died last Spring I’ve made a concerted effort to visit more and maintain closer ties with what remains of… Read More »

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone. Before we get too far into Christmas and New Year’s at our house I wanted to revisit a favorite holiday of mine, my birthday. It’s December 9, if you want to mark it on your calendar. Technically it’s a “Christmas birthday” but it’s far enough out I can raise enough of a fuss to make a clear distinction between the two. The Christmas tree does not go up until after my birthday. This year I turned 40. Leading up to the day I spent some time contemplating on just how best to celebrate. When I turned 30,… Read More »

Jailbreak!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMFYs3gfgis] “Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak…” Sunday was Bronwyn’s twelfth birthday. We spent the afternoon at her favorite spot, the horse barn. She gave her friends the grand tour. They spent time grooming and then had a contest over the most decorated horse. That meant braids and ribbons and all kinds of foolishness. I didn’t fully understand it, but I don’t have to and luckily the horses didn’t seem to mind. We got home for wheat free carrot cake cupcakes (Bronwyn has a wheat sensitivity. You probably do too but that’s for another post) and presents. Afterwards I suggested… Read More »

As promised…

Okay, so I’m slow in getting these up, but here are some photos from building cold frames two weeks ago. Here’s the back of my house in all it’s redneck glory.  The cold frames are snugged up against the south side of the house to best catch the southern tilt of the sun during the winter months. So far I’ve constructed three frames.  Two are planted with spinach, leeks and chard.  The third is waiting it’s bed of rich compost to make up for the clay and rock substrata you see before you. Here’s a detail of the swan door…… Read More »

Vacation

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vH3KAh-Emk&feature=related] Here’s hoping everyone had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving (raises coffee mug in toast). I’m sitting here with Samantha on the balcony of our rented condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama on the first real vacation I’ve taken in four years. Granted I’ve had a few few pleasurable work trips but this is the first time off I’ve taken with my family in a long time. It’s only as I write this do I realize how shameful that is. Four years? That’s really too long. That’s also one of my grandfather’s faults. In the forty years that I’ve been around… Read More »