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Archive for July, 2011

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The grim reaper: He (or she, in this equal opportunity world) is the mythical creature of fear and death. As my hopes of returning home last night were being taken out by the great sickle of mechanical failure on a jetliner, I began to ponder the origins of this ominous character.

In searching the internet, I found the following:

Scholars trace the origin of the Grim Reaper to ancient times where he was known as Cronus to the Greeks and Saturn to the Romans, but the Grim Reaper as he is depicted today comes directly to us from the Middle Ages and the Black Death.

“Strange men in black, demons, and other terrifying figures were observed in other European communities carrying ‘brooms’ or ‘scythes’ or ‘swords’ that were used to sweep or knock at people’s doors. The inhabitants of these houses fell ill with plague afterwards. It is from these reports that people created the popular image of death as a skeleton, a demon, a man in a black robe carrying a scythe.”

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This same Reaper has been sung about in modern culture, and said song from the early 80’s has been spoofed a time or two. The crooners we will simply refer to as BOC in this pre dawn New England hour, but their lyrical message was likely decidedly different from my own. They said “don’t fear the Reaper”, and I concur.

But much like our equally creepy friend Christopher Walken, I would add “we need more cowbell”.

“The point, before you drift off any further”, you may say? Keep it fun. Be willing to be a little unpredictable, flexible, and open to “whimsy” from time to time, especially when things are not always going your way.

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I’ve been out of town for almost a week. I made this trip alone. I’ve been in a classroom/lecture/roundtable setting with a large group of business people for a week. When I come back to the room at night, I just want to crash. And, I have to get some work done. The last thing I want to do is put away the computer, pick up my socks, and other acts I would consider essential to allow the nice housekeepers into my room after I leave each morning for the day’s lectures. I’m a bear. And you know what Don Johnson always says: “If you’re gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly”. On second thought, maybe that’s only when in Rome. I’m just in New Haven, Connecticut.

There are a few other reasons for my secluded man cave desire. We have snack time twice each day during this program. Yours truly might have been known to do a little hoarding; a little “gathering”; a little collecting of uneaten snacks, pretzels, apples, oranges, bottles of water, and the like. All the better to provide sustenance when back in the solace of my long distance from home, lonely bear man cave.

Yes, the man cave. The laundry is piled on the floor. The newspapers are piled on the desk. The snacks are aligned by the TV with care, in hopes the NCIS soon will be watched there.

It all began with the harmless suggestion from the hotel to “go green”. “If I’m not going to need clean towels and clean sheets on this sojourn, why should I have those nice ladies with the big buggie snooping around my room?”, thought I. So out the privacy placard came. This may very well be the longest this room has gone without a custodial visit in many a moon.

One will be due tomorrow, let me assure you. I’ve begun to do a little packing, but the place is still a mess. One more hibernation, and this bear will exit this cave for good. I hope they don’t make me trim my claws just to get on the airplane tomorrow….

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Hyperbole…

We all do it. All of us are guilty, even yours truly. But sometimes, there are those over the top moments.

It’s called hyperbole. Little wonder the word begins with “hyper” as the prefix. According to Wikipedia, Hyperboles are exaggerations to create emphasis or effect. As a literary device, hyperbole is often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. An example of hyperbole is: “The bag weighed a ton.” Hyperbole helps to make the point that the bag was very heavy, although it is not probable that it would actually weigh a ton.

My kids use this vehicle all the time. “I’m gonna kill you…” is a common refrain.

If I was a business person biased toward such purple prose, I might say something like “I parted the waters for you…”. But, I’m not such a business person. I just walk on, I mean, thru water. I’m no Moses. Neither are most of the “Hyperbolic Chambers” out there… 🙂

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Lunch with Elroy

I spent lunch at a table with a British Professor from the London Business School. While he regaled us with stories and read emails out loud from his Blackberry, I came away with two impressions.

The first is just the absolute power of spoken language. Elroy made a statement that really impressed me:

“…we were working on a momentum trading strategy, but got cold feet. We did not have a strong need for money, and greatly value our reputation.”

When you break those words and
phrases down, both within context and without, there is a great deal to ponder and muse over.

My second observation over lunch? Mike Myers depiction of a Brit as Austin Powers was magnificent acting.

Yeah, Baby…

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There are great partnerships in the history of modern society, “Dynamic Duos”, nonetheless.

Let’s name but a few of these great pairings:

Batman and Robin, of course. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl: remember them, Sid and Mary Croft fans? Oops, there goes another duo, syndicated TV style.

Daryl Hall and John Oats. The Green Hornet and Cato. Bill and Hillary. Bert and Ernie. Barbie and Ken. Alec and Rebecca. Beauty and the Beast. Innocent heroes, one and all?

Sigfried and Roy? Let’s not go there.

And now, courtesy of the famed economist John Meynard Keynes, we have our friends and companions, Backwardation and Contango. Sounds more like a pair of freaky superheros than an opposing pair of trading patterns in commodity futures markets.

So what, if anything, you may ask, is the point in writing this post tonight? I don’t really know, to be honest. Maybe I want to prove to the world I was listening in class today? Maybe I am just really tired after several nights of investment markets themed homework and study groups, and a random post was in order on this, my first night off.

I’m a regular Jeff Dunham and Walter…goofy guy and grumpy old man all in one. Yet another great pairing, if I do say so myself!

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The meaning of this phrase may be a bit of a mystery to some, but this is one colloquialism that rings true to many.

Truth be told, the words “You’re not very…” may have been uttered about yours truly from time to time, and from Fraus and a few non-Fraus alike, and while context may not be everything, it means a lot. In the context of the big “WB”, one constant is true. Desire. Desire, and passion. Simply put, when you want something badly enough, you dive right in with all you’ve got.

But when it comes to “WB”, not everyone can be judged on the same plane. Unless you have walked a mile in another’s Merrells, we can never have quite the full and complete picture, now can we?

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I’m not a highly mechanically adept person. I’m a bean counter. I push a touch screen. But I learned from a few folks early in journey through the teenage wasteland how to be WB. I know how to handle a mop. (thanks, Shirley). I know how to apply leverage to a straw broom. (thanks, Grandad). I know how to sling a paint brush. I know how to handle a mower. And I know how to drive a dolley. After a recent extended bout of office cleaning, a colleague was heard to utter “it’s good to see you actually get up and work”. Ouch. My response? “I was driving a dolley before you were born, young lady”. That was fun, especially since she was probably bebopping to ABBA long before I drove my first dolley.

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But, back to context. And passion. I have lots of hard working colleagues. Some are horticulturalists. Some are professional writers, and good ones at that, and some are bean counters, carpenters, and the list goes on and on. They are all passionate, and each one’s role is vital.

So, back to the original question. Let’s look to the web for some insight. It’s spot on.

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The meaning of this phrase may be a bit of a mystery to some, but this is one colloquialism that rings true to many. Now, let’s go out there and “git er’ done”. Oops. Here we go again…

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It is intoxicating. And, I might add, my family is insanely jealous of the relationship.

It began many years ago, before the current Edmond Bings ever knew me. She hails from Texas. But, in more recent days, the girl gets around. To this day, I keep her hidden.

Allow me to explain. You see, my family eats “Gluten Free”. Everyone, but me, that is. And Mrs Baird’s is like none other.

Yes, it is true. I’m in love with an older woman. Mrs. Baird’s bread is not too bad, either. ;).

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