Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Question Like Your Life Depended on It

Why do people stop asking questions?  Or maybe they just stop asking them “out loud”?  I am reading this book called “A More Beautiful Question”.  It is really interesting the change in the number of questions that we ask as we age.  Apparently by the time we are in our teens, we stop asking questions all together.  Until we get married, but that is an entirely other issue.

I think we stop asking questions, because we become too concerned with looking wrong.  This is definitely a “learned” behavior.  We are conditioned to think that being wrong is ….well bad.  The problem with this “wrong=bad” thinking is that it causes us to stop asking questions.  This makes us intellectual boring, always trying to show people that we are right or smart or just pensive by remaining quiet and aloof.  Stupid. 

Successful people ask a LOT of questions.  They might not have the answers to all the questions, but answers are only a small piece of the equation.  The equation is composed mostly of knowns and only a few key points that need answers.  The real excitement comes in "what is the question the equation is trying to answer?".

Questions are the product of a creative mind and we do not make enough effort to teach people how to be creative.  Creativity is where the true advances in civilization are made. Even Einstein, who probably had more answers than most people had questions, knew the value of the right question.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Demon Weed

My band spent last weekend and part of the week with me.  They are three great musicians and three great guys.  We played music each night and ended up talking late into the night about all kinds of stuff including the Austin Music Scene in its hay day.  Combined my band guys probably have about 120 years of Austin music scene experience between them.  They have played with some greats and have known nearly every name in Austin music that was anyone over the past 40 years.

The new marijuana scene in Colorado fascinated them.  We went to the dispensary up in Bailey and they asked questions and visited for over an hour with the owner.  I think they just can’t believe how times have changed.  This is very real for them because they saw so many of their musician friends put in jail for 3, 4 years for possessing a single joint back in the 70’s. Back then the Texas State Police would arrest you for having almost no pot at all and sentence a person to the Texas Penitentiary, basically ruin their life for what? Something that is perfectly legal in several states now.  Amazing.    
Yesterday's demon weed is tomorrow's recreation.  How many things in life are regulated out of fear.  Ironically it was not the demon weed that ruined people's lives back then, but the regulators.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

South Africa

I am sitting in the lounge at Capetown, SA airport. Waiting for an Emirates flight to Dubai, to connect to JFK New York, then connect to Austin. Way too long to travel for business. Like a gas, work has come along to fill all the space of the upcoming November accommodation.

South Africa is a truly, a stunningly beautiful place. The natural beauty that a country inherits anytime it is blessed with mountains in close proximity to the ocean is on display in South Africa. However, I still get the feel that one must have had following the U.S. Civil War in the South. When you still see that the cafes are populated with white people being waited on by black people. Free black people, but none the less the discrepancy remains. South Africa is a country rocked with ongoing struggles to go beyond the words of racial desegregation and try to live the talk. That is a much tougher thing to do. It is no because people do not have their hearts in change, but the sheer economics of such equalization of the masses is next to impossible to deal with. You simply don’t have enough jobs and the people don’t have the educational foundation to fill some jobs that you will try to bring in, so you need to bring in enough business, tourism, etc. to produce a LOT of low paying, service sector jobs because that is what people are currently capable of doing. You have these massive shanty towns and a government desperately trying build more low cost houses, but it is like trying to put a finger in a dam of humanity. And the water of human need just keeps coming.

I wrote these previous words November 1, 2013. On December 5, 2013 Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A RE_POST: An Inconvenient Truth about Marriage

This is a repost of something that I was worked up about three years ago.  I thought I would repost it, cause I got all worked up about it again last week:

Did you know that up until the early 1980's married women in Louisiana were still considered property of their husbands. Similar to a good acre of land, probably some women were good property, high dollar, lots of great extras and had a good re-sale value and some were probably the opposite, but they were all property of their husband. I can think of no better reason NOT to get married. That law is no more.

Hundreds of years ago marriage was simply a design of the wealthy class, the political class to create contracts between families/countries to hopefully reduce conflict between families/countries in matters of property, boundaries, trade, etc. Apparently the guys would get together talk, smoke and drink, pull each others fingers and come to some rousing agreement, then trade wives on it. Not unlike what is done today.

The church assimulated marriage as another way to provide God yet one more thing that he has to ok before the world will recognize it. I am sure God would be happy to delegate this authority as he seems to have plenty to do. So there we have it, marriage is a religious ceremony between two people and the church has decided that they will make their marriages more meaningful by getting God to ok it.

There is a tremendous amount of time, money and energy today being spent "in defense of marriage". I am not sure people even know what they are defending. Still yet I am not sure why anyone other than someone who cares what the church thinks would want to GET married. Well the reason is the "state" has provided special privaleges to people who get married. We have, in effect created a society of Sneetches with stars on their bellys and Sneetches with no stars on their bellys. In addition, we have apparently created a means to remove stars very easily if necessary. Apparently Dr. Suess hit the nail right on the head.

Divorce rates are soaring and states have created small businesses around easy divorce. Domestic violence is incredibly high. Infidelity is rampant. It would seem to me that all those concerned with "defending marriage" and "focusing on the family" might want to go after these other items as well as gays desiring marriage.

Society changes their ideas of right and wrong over time. Interracial marriages, polygamy and underaged marriages have all seen their acceptance change over time and it is likely that the concept of marriage will also evolve (Oops, I should not have brought evolution into this. That is another topic, for another time.). The concept that laws defending marriage as between a man and a women are somehow protecting children, preserving the reproductive needs of the earth are tragic. If every household that wants to protect children would take in just ONE foster child then we would have something. If we could just STOP reproducing then we would not have the gross strain on our earth resources that will eventually send us to hell.

Five states have approved gay marriage. Countries all over the world have approved gay marriage. Gay marriage is eventually going to happen. The real problem of the intersection and paralleling of church and state that created the desire among the unwashed, same sexes to get married in the first place will probably go unaddressed. No worries.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Class and Privilege in the Consumption of Liquids

I am not an alcohol drinker. 

I decided long ago that I would rather get my calories from food and my friends supported that decision since they needed someone sober to drive them home from the bars.   I have never felt like my friends or even newly met acquaintances felt any less of me for not imbibing although I did feel pity for my partner, a good German who enjoys wine and drink, because she always had to enjoy alcohol solo.  Her friends and family, including my own sister, have luckily filled in for me.   

However, it makes me unhappy that we non-drinkers are so discriminated against in the bars and establishments.  When we order drinks anywhere, while my friends drink wine from nice glass glasses, I am always given water and soda in a plastic cup.  I don’t like eating from plastic plates, using plastic utensils and I sure don’t like drinking from plastic cups. 
When I brought this discrimination to the attention of my social group last week at a bar in town, while sipping my soda from a plastic cup, they were disbelieving.  Like I was making it up, although there I sat with the proof at my lips.   One of them asked her husband, another non-alcohol consumer, if this was the case and his reply was “Sure it is!”  He is always upbeat.    I restated my case, and then called the waitress over and asked her if they always served the sodas and water in plastic cups and she said “hmmm, I guess we do.”  I am not sure if there is a sense that people buying sodas and water don’t pay for the place so why waste good glass on bad drinkers, or if it is a policy of such places that people drinking water or soda must be too young to drink a “real man’s drink” and therefore are too young to play with glass.

Anyway, it is a discrimination which I think we need to remove from our entertainment scape.  No one wants to drink wine out of a stupid plastic wine glass so why should I have to drink my beverage for a stupid plastic glass.

I always ask for a soda, in a glass glass, with ice.  Maybe we should stop serving kids drinks in plastic cups and adults drinks in glass containers.  Maybe we should stop calling them “Adult Beverages”.  Then maybe kids wouldn’t think it was cooler to drink wine than koolaid.   As for me, I shall drink Kool-Aid, but I shall have it in a glass glass.  Give me glass or give me death.

Saturday, November 3, 2012



Bro-Mance is alive and well at Magnolia Cafe in Austin Texas.  I stopped by there yesterday morning for eggs and toast.  I had decided to take the day off and do some stuff and thought that my two mile exercised warranted eggs and toast. 

It was about 6:15 am, but the place began to rapidly fill with men.  Old men, young men, men in shorts and t-shirts, men in suits.  They all sat together and began to ....well confide in one another.  It was a bit disturbing.  The guys in the booth behind me were talking about relationships.  One guys was clearly asking the other's council about his marriage.  Four other guys were just talking about life.  Another two guys in the corner were in hushed tones.  It was just a bit strange.  Apparently, not unlike the the elephant's graveyard, there is a secret place that men take their manhood to die and replace it with all the insecurities that women display in public. 

I left thinking, if I want this type of bro-mance I can get the same at the local hair parlor.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

No Squirrel for you Chef.

Did you know that it is actually illegal to purchase squirrel meat on the internet IN THE USA?  I mean, can you believe that!!!   First healthcare, now this.  You can purchase squirrel meat if, for instance, you are living in Iraq, but apparently it is illegal here in the U.S.A. .  I mean, what makes squirrel meat any worse to purchase than say ... rabbit, or frog meat.  And what makes it any worse to buy it pre-packaged than to shoot your own and call it a day.  I think it is just bizarre.  How can you make squirrel gravy and cat head biscuits if you are not allowed to purchase the basic ingredients.  So much for that dish occuring in the finest restaurants in New York, and in a city where they are probably overrun with squirrels.

I went to dinner last night with two good friends, Monica and Chris and we decided that the finer restaurants probably have a secret "Squirrel Meat" closet where they sell it "off the menu".  It is right in there beside puffer fish and cuban cigars.

Somewhere in Iraq chefs are rolling in squirrel meat, but here in the U.S. the government has decided to outlaw it.

Just bizarre.