Friday, October 30, 2009

New Collage Art and Encaustic Paintings now availble

I was looking at Susan's Blog this morning and noticed she has given some focus to a collage technique that has recently drawn attention at her Etsy site. Etsy is the online, handmade goods store that carries Susan's encaustic paintings, jewelery, art dolls and now these unique collages. Check out the blog for her notes on the items and visit the online store. The top two pieces pictured above are collages and the bottom, Blue Bird is an encaustic, (pigment suspended in beeswax), painting.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Peak Experiences....

Sometimes, there are opportunities in life that if you are not looking will pass you by. The sad thing about these opportunities is that, if you cannot see them, you never know what you missed. Tonight, I am so happy I was looking this time. Please go to the Personal Growth web site for the rest of the story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Agassai admits he lied to tennis officials...

...Andre Agassai has written an autobiography where he admits to lying about the use of Crystal Meth in 1977.  I bring this up only to initiate discussion about drug use and specifically the most insidious side effect - lying. In the book, Agassai, in an attempt to protect his career, blame an assistant. Lying is to drug abuse what a sneeze is to a cold. No one doubts the sneeze will accompany the cold but lying seems to surprise those closest to friends and relatives using drugs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Travel Tuesday continues in Peru...this week I finally...

...met with Anton Ponce de Leon. Anton was furtively engaged in conversation with a student that had flown to Peru from Italy to visit with him. On the day I arrived in Cuzco, the two men had travelled here to the Urubamba to stay at Samana Wasi, (roughly translated, The House of Rest). For Part 3, go to Personal Growth Productions, featured topic.

Brian...your name was drawn as the winner shortly after noon today!! Congratulations...and, as I pictured a charm in one of the announcements we drew another name as well - congrats Laurie!!

Please send an email to us by clicking here and include your name and shipping address. Thank you to everyone that participated. Both Susan and I enjoy hearing from you and it is a continual inspiration to see your smiling faces in the group of those following.

The month is not over as yet and and still....

...October is deadliest month ever for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. This is becoming painfully reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson's good intentions to end the war in Vietnam. This is a different time and place and I mean no disrespect to our President or to the soldiers in conflict but we must continue to question and seek the best answers.

FBI rescues 52 children in prostitution ring sting....

This story makes me sick. We are given precious time and have the opportunity to choose how we spend each hour...each minute. Is it greed alone that has people making these kinds of decisions about what to do with their lives? In the last 36 hours, the FBI have rescued numerous children and made nationwide arrests in Operation Cross Country IV. Details here - more later.

Stephen Stills...his voice and guitar as pure as ever....

We all have one of these in our lives and this one is the one I grew up listening to...well, him and his pal Neil Young. In the last week, I have heard both of them in live appearances...Young at FarmAid and Stills this morning on Stern. Stephen's singing voice was sterling even at 8 AM. Both guys play guitar like the instrument is an extension of their soul....effortlessly and still hot. Stills speaking voice and the discussion was painful at times reminding me of age and years past. In answering a question about prostrate cancer he described how he regained some sexual function by saying that every time you cry, the tears help you rebuild....I'll have more at the Personal Growth Productions site soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The plot thickens on wayward NorthWest pilots....

....the investigation into the circumstances leading to overshooting Minneapolis gathered a bit of steam today. Seems the guys were using laptops to go over schedule changes due to the recent merger of NorthWest and Delta. With holiday bids now being submitted, anything is possible. The problem: it is way against policy to use a personal computer in the cockpit or do anything that distracts a pilot from doing the job...and not the part where you try to figure out your days off. Without the data from the flight recorder...remember, it only keeps a 30 minute loop, we are not going to know any more than the content of the pilot's testimony.Unfortunately for these employees, the info so far may already call for dismissal. I'm betting this kind of thing goes on more than we might like to know as passengers but when you overfly your destination, it is going to be problematic. This could be one of those very tough public example kind of situations.

Some spooky photos from Susan's recent collection.....There is still time to enter the Halloween original, encaustic painting. See details below the photos.

Check out my favorite artist's blog and her home site. Ghoolishly delicious! Remember, to leave a comment on Susan's blog as well as mine and enroll to follow me and win an original, encaustic painting.  See my previous entry for more details.

Join Blastoff Today!!

Hi everyone...if you have not hooked up with Blastoff as yet, you can do it right now! There's good info in this week's audio update but the here's the short story. Blastoff is an online shopping mall with a myriad of online product and service companies available. Once you enroll, you earn cash back for every dollar spent while logged onto the site. You also earn a portion of anything spent by all of those enrolled under you. You cannot join directly but I have obtained an membership and you are welcome to enroll along with me. Then, take some time to enroll your friends before they sign up elsewhere. News is still limited about the site so if you jump on this now, you can create a little extra income.

To save you a little pain, the site is slammed right now and the server is slow and some of the functionality is not yet ready. I have been unable to use the import links for address books and that is why I am putting the word out like this...the facebook link is also not working. Take a minute and enroll today and when things calm down, you can go back and customize the site and use the functions.  All the tutorial videos work and the help staff is on overdose...I saw some pretty fried people trying to answer questions.

Just do this on this link to enroll. You will see my name at the top of the screen to enroll you...pick a user name, password and leave your email and get a few friends on board.

Weekly Audio Update - ShrinkWrap sure you give the music 20 seconds for me...I got a little carried away with the intro.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ballon Boy Questions...What do you Think?

Do you have the parents face the criminal charges and call it good? Or, should Child Protective Services intervene regardless of the outcome of the criminal complaint? Should the children be separated from the parents and if so...for how long and under what circumstances? Does separating the children from their parents simply extend their roles as victims of their caregiver's behavior.

Do we need to turn around?

     Yesterday, a NorthWest Airliner flying from San Diego to Minneapolis overshot its destination by about 150 miles before the pilots realized what had happened. Seems they were engrossed in a discussion about company policy. Presumably, the subject was not pilot attention span. The news was a difficult reminder of the story I posted here previously.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More on Dave Letterman...or should I say moron Dave Letterman.....

It appears I missed the mark when I used the word honest to describe Dave Letterman’s response to the alleged blackmail attempt. While I was right on target when I noted his use of humor, there is nothing funny about what has happened in the last few weeks to a mother and son. It appears what we have is just another sad attempt to recover lost youth or, perhaps more specifically…a grown man allowing the little head to think for the big head. I still say it is harder for a celebrity to live under the bright lights of fame than it is for us regular folks but, then again, they get the toys to go with the fame. Somewhere, you also have to account for the professional responsibility one assumes as a corporate citizen not to mention the most important piece…you are a husband and father Mr. Letterman. Click Here for the ... rest of this story.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Travel Tuesday continues in Peru .... the train to Machu Picchu

This week, Travel Tuesday continues with the train to Machu Picchu. Please enjoy this next installment of my journey in Peru.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekly Audio Update - ShrinkWrap

Here's this week's Audio sure to press play. Enjoy!

Madonna's Rolling Stone Article....

Madonna talks to Rolling Stone this month about her career, relationships with Michael Jackson and Britney Spears and the healing power of music. Who do you consider a musical genius? Who and What do you find inspiring? She also talks about her daughter Lourdes relative to her music and...Is a legacy important to you. Have a look and let me know what you think...I'll have more on this later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fifty People, One Question...

....the web site for this project says, "We had an idea. Go to a place. Ask Fifty people the same question. Film their responses." Thus far, they have asked people one of two questions. The video above, is one person's reaction to recognizing the filmmakers as he is asked, "If you could have anything, what would it be? You can view additional video on You Tube showing others as they answer this question and also, "If you could wake up anywhere, where would it be?" As I heard the answers to this second question, my response came to me without hesitation. I immediately thought of something that happened to me one evening in 1989...a night that changed my life. As I reflected on my answer, I began to watch the video below about the infant and the train. Please give some thought to how you would respond to this question, then watch the video below and pop over to my web site for the whole story. I am continually amazed by the synchronicity of life.

     If you like, share your answer to the question in the comments below. If you could wake up anywhere, where would it be?

If you have not seen this video as yet...the baby boy is not hurt....

There are  a couple of versions of this video posted on You Tube and I selected this one because it gave me time to think; to consider all that happened in those few seconds. The news report audio tells us the mother attempts to push the stroller away from the platform and out of harms way. The brake, however, was not set, and the stroller rolls into the path of the oncoming train. After stopping, the train does not move, and the baby was rescued with only a few scratches. As I watched the video for the first time, I was preparing the blog entry just above this one, Fifty People, One Question. As it turns out, the question asked and this video are very much connected.  Please give some thought to these two entries and be sure to read the entire story at my web site.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Popular Anti-Depressants linked to suicidal thoughts....

We have been hearing about side effects in anti-depressant medications for a few years now and the research is starting to form, yet another, challenging scenario. Lexipro,(pictured left), the popular brand name of escitalopram and nortriptyline are now the subject of recently published research. linking the medications to an increase in thoughts of suicide. With pharmaceutical companies in a hurry to recover their research and development costs and, optimistically speaking, help the public with new discoveries, we are at risk for side effects that do not show up in the initial approval process. My biggest concern is the relative ease with which these medications are casually dispensed by family physicians trying to get relief to their patients that often seek a quick fix. Ideally, anti-depressants would only be prescribed to accompany a course of talk therapy where side effects such as suicide would stand a better chance of being identified and the patient would have an increased rate of recovery. It's much easier, however, to charge for an office visit and write a script with a few refills. I am not doubting the efficacy of the medicines but I am worried about widespread, improperly monitored use.  What about you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sam/Chief R. from Wanat, Afghanastan - Where are You????

I'm hoping you are safe, somewhere in this satellite photo but I do not know how to reach you. You responded to my post about Wanat and I am hoping I can connect with you in some way. Would you please send a note to me by comment here? Or better, would you send an email to me? Click Here for my address. (I will not publish anything without your permission). I want you to know how much this story and the lives lost has meant to me. I am trying to understand and make sense of what happened. Please help me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Travel Tuesday continues in Peru.....

We may be in Peru for a while as I recall and document the details of this incredible trip. This week, I get to Lima and leave immediately for Cuzco...hang in there with me and look for more this week. The photo above shows coca leaves with a sprig of anise...I'll be talking about this combination as the journey continues.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekly Audio Update - ShrinkWrap

Press Play on the Audio Image above for this Weeks's Audio Update!

I read this book.......

I said in previous entries that I would wait until I read the book before I made further comments. I wanted to understand the use of "consensual" and "incest" used in the same sentence. With terms like these invoked before a national audience, I had some expectation. While backstage parties and tales of famous people using drugs may not be everyone's cup of tea, I will admit to reading and enjoying these entertainment oriented confessions. Sometimes these, boy did I screw up, stories are good reminders to some, informative to others or simply satisfy the desire for tabloid-like distraction.
In this case, however, I am lost. The very serious subject of incest is relegated to what amounts to passing comments...occupying no more than four of the almost 300 pages. The rest of the book is a repetitious description of drug abuse, One Day At A Time for 40 years. How many times is sticking a needle in your arm interesting after the first 25 mentions. There is absolutely no message, redeeming or otherwise. It's too bad this book isn't about smoking marijuana. At least Phillips could have invoked the often played television commercial that accurately and humorously relates what happens to your mind on drugs which is coincidentally what a person will get from reading this book...NOTHING!

Relationship Tips...

Relationships are challenging. We start out with the best of intentions and sometimes end up off track. Many times I have found myself wondering what happened and I wrote about this a couple of months ago. If you missed the article on being right and how to exaggerate the cure, take a look at what I had to say. Please be sure to share your comments.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Everyday Enlightenment - Revisted

Today I wanted to pass on to a client some simple strategies for starting over; finding direction and beginning again. As I prepared for our meeting, I outlined what I have found useful when faced with that recurring first day of the rest of my life. What I came up with were these often discussed and generally discarded basic elements of remembering who we are and why we are here. I say generally discarded as most of us know or have heard all of this in one form or another. However, when we need the knowledge the most; we simply go the other way. Please visit my web site for the rest of this article on starting over. Photo by Susan Najarian.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Travel Tuesday goes to Peru....

....This trip was hard evidence of the power of attraction. The whole idea of going to Peru was to explore the popular claims of UFO's, spiritual and metaphysical events, and the rich history of the Incas. I was met in Lima by a colleague in the travel business and when asked what I wanted to accomplish during my visit, I was naively honest. Basically, I said, "I'll take one of those Shirley MacLaine adventures." Ok, 'no,' that is not what I said but it is exactly what I was thinking. I had no idea the person I was speaking with would put me in touch with a direct descendant of a lost civilization and I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life.

     The trip continued from the present day capital city to Cuzco, the historical capital of the Inca Empire (1200's-1532). Cuzco hosts travelers as they journey through the Urubamba River Valley, gateway to Machu Picchu. Join me, later today, at the Personal Growth Productions web site for more on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekly Audio Preview - Press Play and enjoy!

 Welcome to weekly audio update. Oh and, be nice ok...I'm working without a net here!

If you have something to get off your chest...

....check out Laurie's blog and her entry on forgiveness. I am so sorry to hear about your loss I said in your comments, I love the way you love.

You have to appreciate his humor....

.....but more important, you have to respect his honesty. You know the story but check out both videos and let me know what you think with your comments.

July 13, 2008 - The Battle of Wanat, Afghanistan....

In the news over the weekend and continuing through the week, we are seeing reports of discussions without the resolve that is now, long overdue. Pictured to the left is Jonathan Bostrom who lost life life 15 months ago in the high mountain village of Wanat. Bostrom and eight others lost their lives knowing they were ill-equipped to defend themselves. In a story printed just after his son's death Jonathan's father told the press, "It took something like this, nine soldiers killed, to be a wake-up call. I just hope my son's death drives some policy do do what we protect our soldiers." That wake-up call has yet to be answered. Please see, The Battle of Wanat for more detailed information about what happened and make yourself heard on the issues that face us today in Afghanistan.