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ANVIL ARCHIVES

 

2005

January 2005
The holidays are typically a time of reflection, a time to evaluate the highs and lows of the past year. For some of us, it's also a time to think about and plan for the year ahead. Since 1995, I've written down New Year's resolutions, and evaluated my performance at the end of the year.

February 2005
The holidays are typically a time of reflection, a time to evaluate the highs and lows of the past year. For some of us, it's also a time to think about and plan for the year ahead. Since 1995, I've written down New Year's resolutions, and evaluated my performance at the end of the year.

March 2005
In a culture obsessed with consumption and convenience, it’s increasingly difficult to stay healthy. Fueled by a staple of fast food, reality TV and video games, Americans are getting fatter and dumber every day. We work more than any other country in the world and find fewer and fewer reasons to get out of our seat at work or out of our cars on the way to or from home.

April 2005
For Valentine’s Day, my wife gave me a special treat: a gift certificate to one of Portland’s hottest new businesses catering to men. Hair M specializes in pampering men with a variety of services ranging from massages and manicures to haircuts and waxing, all in a comfortable environment complete with an assortment of magazines, flat-screen TVs showing ESPN and complimentary frosty beverages.

May 2005
Two years ago, I watched my first episode of The Apprentice, featuring Donald Trump’s hair. Like many Americans, I find Trump to be crass, cheesy and have bad taste in almost everything (with the exception of his current wife). On the other hand, I can’t help but respect his business prowess, especially being able to maintain composure through financial ups and downs. Beyond Trump’s star power, I figured the show was going to be entertaining, because it’s produced by Survivor wonder-producer, Mark Burnett. I was right on, at least for the first two seasons.

June 2005
I've lived in the lovely state of Oregon for over 10 years, but I only recently made the journey to McMinnville's Evergreen Aviation Museum to see Howard Hughes' H-4 Spruce Goose. It's difficult to understand the immense scope of the gigantic flying boat, even when compared to the WWII airplanes sheltered under its wings (the Spruce Goose's tailspan is wider than that of a B-17 bomber's wingspan). After walking through the wooden wonder and recalling Scorsese's The Aviator, I was struck by how truly amazing, and freaky, Howard Hughes really was.

July 2005
For many of us, the dot com boom of the late 1990s was synonymous with business plans on napkins, extravagant parties and memorable but irrelevant Super Bowl ads. Many of us "in the business" at the time also witnessed the dark side first hand: bad judgment, greed, budget cuts and layoffs. Many of the horror stories of the post-boom era included lost jobs, lost fortunes and personal bankruptcy. My experience was very similar, with one major exception: the dot com boom, and subsequent bomb, killed my boss.

August 2005
After graduating from college, I had a few months to reflect on my life and budding career. I determined that a personal mission statement was in order, as it would aid in guiding my personal and professional development. After a few failed attempts ("I'm just here for the beer" and "To better people's lives through plastic" among others), I ended up with "To educate, inform and entertain."

September 2005
If you’re a regular Anvil reader, you probably already know how important education is to me. This month, we’re hosting the Third Annual Get SMART Gala in Portland, Oregon to raise awareness for children’s literacy. Beyond book learning, there are many reasons to go to school: to develop organizational skills, discipline, perspective, independence, networking and socialization. Let us not forget, however, that getting there can be half the fun.

October 2005
I'm 33 years old and have yet to break a bone (knock on wood). Despite this fact, or maybe because of it, I've had a lifelong fear of breaking a bone, bordering on an obsession. The thought of hearing or seeing a broken bone, let alone feeling the pain, makes me nauseated. At the same time, like most guys, I tend to lean toward recreational activities that offer a high risk of broken bones: skiing, skateboarding, cycling, etc. Not only did I participate in these sports in my youth, I was at my happiest while participating in them.

November 2005
With congressional hearings on steroid use among professional athletes, player's strikes, team gambling and sex scandals, it's a wonder there is any time left for actual sports. No athlete seems to be immune from the narcosis generated by fame and bling, which in turn, causes them to do terribly stupid things. Governing sports bodies appear to be cutting breaks and making excuses to the very athletes they are responsible for policing. It's too easy to blame athletes, coaches, team owner's and the media for many of the problems facing professional sports today, and all but impossible to face the fact that we, as fans, are the only true cure.

December 2005
I enjoy sharing knowledge with my dear readers. Over the years, I’ve written about how to get a great job and even how to get rich. Unfortunately, I’ve found that my personal experience also stretches into the darker side of employment: termination. While it’s not always advisable to openly discuss what many consider to be a black mark on your career, I feel it’s important to share what I’ve learned with you in the hopes it may help you avoid future career difficulties.

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