I’m a good American. I stay out of trouble and pay my taxes. I drink on occasion, but rarely does it cause problems (save for the incident at the zoo with the llama and mayonnaise). Regardless, I’ve been kicked out of bars twice in recent years, both times while sober enough to operate heavy machinery. While it’s fairly easy to get bounced from a bar for drunken acts of stupidity, I was kicked out for brazen acts of (attempted) humor. In one particular case, Kevin Costner’s star-power was the cause of my untimely departure.
At the age of 6, I left my training wheels behind. Since then, I've had a bit of an obsession with bicycles. While women tend to watch their weight closely, men like me tend to watch the weight of our mechanical toys. With bicycles, every ounce counts and, similar to women's view of weight, less is more. In my quest to trim weight off of my bikes, I've learned a few things about life.
I've been told more than once that I'm a 'networked' guy. Although I've built my Portland network from scratch over the past 11 years, I don't consider myself a networker in a traditional sense. To me, a stereotypical networked person wears a suit, shows up at every industry event with a stack of business cards and is constantly doing deals on their cell phone. Not only do I not see myself fitting into that mold, I believe my philosophy on networking is quite different from traditional definitions. Except for the cell phone part.
I've always been a big fan of potato chips, even when I was a wee lad. I recently re-invigorated my relationship with the crispy snack during this year's Super Bowl. Being a Seattle native, I finally had a good reason to watch the game instead of the commercials. I was one of the many fans who consumed an estimated 12 million pounds of chips that Sunday. More recently, I celebrated National Potato Chip Day (March 14th) by cracking open my beloved potato chip collection.
I recently watched an episode of ABC's latest foray into reality television: "American Inventor". Similar to "American Idol" (no surprise given that it, like Idol, was created by Simon Cowell), average people compete while being evaluated by a panel of expert judges. In the case of "American Inventor," inventors seek to move on each week on the strength of their invention in hopes of netting the big prize, $1 million. As I watched as each new invention was unveiled, I became increasingly uneasy as I recalled my own brilliant ideas from the past, each and every one of which was copied and marketed by someone else.
In October of 1996, I launched my first issue of Anvil. As is the case with most publications, writing for and producing Anvil requires motivation and discipline. Over the years, my level of commitment has wavered due to various personal and professional challenges. On more than one occasion, I've even thought about shutting it down altogether. A year ago I put all those second thoughts to rest when I was given a gift that re-ignited and forever clarified my passion for Anvil. Before I get that, a little background is in order.
Making people laugh has always been a personal mission, dating as far back as infancy, when I first inserted fake rubber poo into my diapers. I’ve been blessed to come from a distinctive lineage of large-funny-boned people, and surround myself with friends and coworkers who have, on occasion, succeeded in making me laugh so hard that I’ve involuntarily released a variety of personal fluids.
I remember discussing the Holocaust in high school history class, and hearing a student near me whisper to a friend that the killing of millions Jews was just a "rumor." Although I know very little about Judaism, I am one of the tribe by blood, so the comment didn’t sit well with me. Since then, I've felt strongly that every human being should be required to view Schindler's List as a reminder of both the atrocities and miracles of which humans are capable.
I like to drive fast. Unfortunately, my wife, co-workers and friends associate my driving style to being crazy, reckless or stupid. I completely disagree. While I do drive fast, I have no death wish and I don't get speeding tickets or into wrecks. It's no accident, as I've been through driver training with Team Continental half a dozen times at Portland International Raceway over the years. It's given me an opportunity to explore my personal limits, as well push the limits of my car, which has probably saved my life on more than one occasion.
In honor of this month’s theme, bush, I would like to take a moment to praise our Nation’s President by highlighting just a few of his greatest accomplishments while in office: http://www.anvil-media.com
On October 9th, I attended Peter Lowe’s Get Motivated! seminar series at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon. A friend offered me a free ticket, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a little Monday morning motivation from the likes of Zig Ziglar, Rudolph Giuliani, Colin Powell and Steve Forbes.
My wife and son recently took a trip back East to visit family. Initially, I reveled in the freedom (seeing movies, hitting the bars and the gym). Once my system processed the alcohol and lactic acid, I soon found myself missing my family. While on the exercise bike at the gym one morning, I began reflecting on the amazing and wonderful path my life has taken in the past few years (including the additions of a daughter, wife and son). I realized that my life had changed significantly since my first issue of Anvil in October 1996, and that further change was required if I wanted to maintain a healthy balance in my life.