“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha
I’m stunned by this: “Lancet, the British medical journal, published an article in January, based on studying a small group of patients, which found that a third of people (infected with the coronavirus) had to be admitted to intensive care units.”
The reason that stuns me is it is from January and it is now March. We lost significant time in responding to an obvious issue of a lack of Ventilators and ICU beds are vastly insignificant for that level of infection.
That quote on Covid-19 is from today’s NEW York Times article March 20, 2020 titled “Behind the Virus Report That Jarred the U.S. and the U.K. to Action”
Statistics from the Imperial College of London predicts what an uncontrolled spread would mean. This data is from the WSJ article (this will NOT happen, this shows what COULD have happened without non-medical intervention.)
- 510,000 deaths in Britain
- 2.2 million deaths in the United States
I repeat – the ABOVE predictions will NOT happen because of non-medical intervention. It does represent what could have happened. And the final numbers, while less than the above, will be greater than they needed to be.
Back to the WSJ article:
The (now debunked) theory (ignoring coronavirus) is that this would build up so-called “herd immunity,” so that the public would be more resistant in the face of a second wave of infections next winter.
Dr. Ferguson has been candid that the report reached new conclusions because of the latest data from Italy, which has seen a spiraling rate of infections, swamping hospitals and forcing doctors to make agonizing decisions about who to treat.
My opinion: Let me translate the phrase “build up ‘herd immunity’” – because I went to Texas A&M with a BS in POLS and my wife is an Agricultural Science major as well. “Herd Immunity” basically means building up immunity, in the absence of a vaccine, “culling of the herd” or “survival of the fittest” or “the weak or those predisposed to the virus will die.” – Ed
“Based on our estimates and other teams’, there’s really no option but follow in China’s footsteps and suppress.”
My opinion: Let me interject here again. If the public had known that up to 1/3 of all patients with the coronavirus needed treatment in an ICU with ventilators, I’m going to guess we wouldn’t be where we are now. Back to the article. – Ed
…the burden on hospitals was clear as far back as the original outbreak in Wuhan, China. Lancet, the British medical journal, published an article in January, based on studying a small group of patients, which found that a third of people had to be admitted to intensive care units.
“I can’t help but feel angry that it has taken almost two months for politicians and even ‘experts’ to understand the scale of the danger from SARS-CoV-2,” said Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of Lancet, on Twitter. “Those dangers were clear from the very beginning.”
(PDF on Coronavirus from Lancet, search for more.)
My Opinion: My understanding from reading the above article, is that the Lancet feels their advice was ignored for two months and our leadership didn’t take it seriously, causing greater pain. I get that.
This is what your lungs look like with the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Like all Global Citizens, I believe we are in an unprecedented time. I hope and pray the miracle of humanity can solve this pandemic as soon as possible.
I’ll do my part as best I can. – Ed
From the article, (and I believe we are already there):
“A major blunder would be pushing too hard with financial punishments, and incentivizing Moscow and Beijing to bypass the U.S. trade and monetary order.
When the dollar’s primacy materially dwindles, that will be game over in the balance of power with the East.”
If people don’t realize cryptocurrency “payment channels” (basically like a purchase order between merchants – settled up later but pre-approved) is a threat to the petrodollar, they are mistaken. The USD is nothing more than what we would call “proof of stake” in the crypto world. The Fed is the issuer, the stake.
Energy traded based on a proof of stake crypto currency pinned to the future value of a fiat currency in, say 30 days, via a smart contract could replace the influence of the US at a global level – I believe you are mistaken.
Just read Mark Zuckerburg’s comments on Holocaust Deniers. A direct quote:
I also don’t want to live in a world where tech companies get to decide who has the right to speech and get to police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates.
You ALREADY DO
CENSOR*** RESTRICT WHAT WE CAN POST. YOU ALREADY RESTRICT OUR SPEECH based on your terms of service. And that is within your purview. The point of this post is that given only a government can “censor”, the capricious nature of what is allowed does not, in this author’s opinion, measure up the values of our country. ***
Yet moronic thoughts of holocaust denial, a denial that ignores history, ignores evidence, and promotes hate, a denial that is factually untrue and is based on blatant falsehood – that is somehow OK? No. No those pages are not OK. And YES you can do something about it.
Mark – as a leader, if you chose your path or not, it is your DUTY to approach it with respect for the power you have. Every hate speech site, especially including “deniers” and “supremacists” can and should be shut down. That is YOUR decision.
I run a tiny software company. TINY. And I make ethical decisions every day that aren’t profit motivated. I bring this up because it is beyond ridiculous that women’s rights are blocked by facebook but hate speech and idiot speech is not blocked. The dissonance is stunning. THINK ABOUT IT.
And yes, I do want to live in a world where companies act with dignity and that includes standing up against hate speech. Oh wait, I already do. You are just making poor decisions currently.
Think of it this way – company leaders get to dictate our health care. And they are ZERO knowledge of your needs. I know this. Because, as a CEO, I promise you, and you know this, there is no class we get sent to on how to pick a healthcare plan for people. In other words – we are absolutely UNQUALIFIED to make that decision.
Consider: I have personally made the decision that our company will not represent big tobacco. I’ve lost relatives and friends to lung cancer and I choose not to host sites that promote it. Meanwhile I *absolutely* support an individual’s right to smoke. And I have smoked myself many times. I’m a hypocrite in that regard. I just know smoking tobacco is addicting and I choose to not host those sites. I choose. Because choice is part of being a leader.
Tendenci is open source so if someone else hosts a tobacco site using our software, well, that’s fine. I’m in NO WAY denying them access to our technology in any way. I’m in favor of OPEN.
Hell, I might have even made that decision while smoking a Lucky Strike debating Edward Bernays’. But ya, I made the call.
Zuck – do the right thing. Don’t hide behind the second amendment and allow people to spread hate, and in this case, completely ignorant speech. Then after that, tell Jack and Ev to do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the President of any country, we must not allow or tolerate utter bullshit.
PS – Zuck – I’ve never spoken to you directly, although also a speaker at SXSW back in the day I seem to recall my room was a bit smaller than the main stage. I have spoken to Randi years ago on a joint proposal, and I understand you are playing at a different level (by far). Just if you see this post, consider my words or call me to discuss if you wish.
PPS – yes, I made the #freethenipple photo the featured image on this post, because I am choosing to censor OUT people who don’t know facts and history like deniers. That is my choice. I get to do that. I get to focus on the positive. You do to. So damnit man, exercise your own freedom of speech Zuck. Do it.
*** This text was edited on Friday August 10, 2018 based on reasonable and logical discourse in a thread on facebook. You can view that thread here. But the bottom line is only a government can technically “censor” and I agree with that point. Therefore there is an even lower bar for companies to make the decision to kick scumbags off of their sites.
Yes, I’m a programmer and full stack developer, speaker, etc, but… at TAMU I minored in history. One of my focus areas was African history (the continent. Think 1000+ years of history.) Thus I’m really looking forward to watching Black Panther.
Let me count the ways:
First – I’ve heard it is a GREAT movie.
Second – I’m hoping to learn more from what is hopefully a historically “aware” science fiction movie that will open minds to the richness and culture. We must learn from our origin.
To Make America Great – we should listen to the Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1963.
In a peaceful protest in Washington, when speaking on Jobs and Freedoms, MLK spoke. And when I say spoke, I mean… daaaammmn …. he inspired. I read this speech every year on MLK day. I read them with my heart. I reread them every year to measure where we are. In 2018 I feel we have lost sight of the American Dream. I WANT to reread them because they are a message of hope and vision for what our country could be someday. Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole of not only self-doubt, but doubt in my own country, which I love so much. Dr. King gives me hope. This speech is what a Great America could be.
Transcript Source: King Institute at Stanford
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [applause]
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves [Audience:] (Yeah) who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. (Hmm)
But one hundred years later (All right), the Negro still is not free. (My Lord, Yeah) One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. (Hmm) One hundred years later (All right), the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later (My Lord) [applause], the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. (Yes, yes) And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (Yeah), they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men (My Lord), would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. (My Lord) Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. [enthusiastic applause] (My Lord, Lead on, Speech, speech)
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. (My Lord) [laughter] (No, no) We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. (Sure enough) And so we’ve come to cash this check (Yes), a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom (Yes) and the security of justice. (Yes Lord) [enthusiastic applause]
We have also come to this hallowed spot (My Lord) to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. (Mhm) This is no time (My Lord) to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. [applause] (Yes, Speak on it!) Now is the time (Yes it is) to make real the promises of democracy. (My Lord) Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time [applause] to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time (Yes) [applause] (Now) to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent (Yes) will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. (My Lord) 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. (Yes) And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. [enthusiastic applause] There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: in the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. (My Lord, No, no, no, no) [applause] We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. (My Lord) Again and again (No, no), we must rise to the majestic heights (Yes) of meeting physical force with soul force. (My Lord) The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people (Hmm), for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny [sustained applause], and they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” (Never) We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. (Yes) We can never be satisfied [applause] as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. [applause] We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. (Yes) We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating for whites only. [applause] (Yes, Hallelujah) We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. (Yeah, That’s right, Let’s go) [applause] No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters (Yes) and righteousness like a mighty stream. [applause] (Let’s go, Tell it)
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. (My Lord) Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. (My Lord, That’s right) Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution (Yeah, Yes) and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith (Hmm) that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi (Yeah), go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities (Yes), knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. (Yes) Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. (My Lord)
I say to you today, my friends [applause], so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow (Uh-huh), I still have a dream. (Yes) It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (Yes)
I have a dream (Mhm) that one day (Yes) this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed (Hah): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” (Yeah, Uh-huh, Hear hear) [applause]
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia (Yes, Talk), the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream (Yes) [applause] that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice (Yeah), sweltering with the heat of oppression (Mhm), will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream (Yeah) [applause] that my four little children (Well) will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (My Lord) I have a dream today. [enthusiastic applause]
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists (Yes, Yeah), with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” (Yes), one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. [applause] (God help him, Preach)
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted (Yes), every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain (Yes), and the crooked places will be made straight (Yes), and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed [cheering], and all flesh shall see it together. (Yes Lord)
This is our hope. (Yes, Yes) This is the faith that I go back to the South with. (Yes) With this faith (My Lord) we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. (Yes, All right) With this faith (Yes) we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation (Yes) into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. (Talk about it) With this faith (Yes, My Lord) we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together (Yes), to stand up for freedom together (Yeah), knowing that we will be free one day. [sustained applause]
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children (Yes, Yeah) will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee (Yeah, Yes), sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. (Oh yes) Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride (Yeah), from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” (Yeah)
And if America is to be a great nation (Yes), this must become true. So let freedom ring (Yes, Amen) from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. (Uh-huh) Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. (Yes, all right) Let freedom ring (Yes) from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. (Well) Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. (Yes) But not only that: (No) Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. [cheering] (Yeah, Oh yes, Lord) Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. (Yes) Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. (Yes) From every mountainside (Yeah) [sustained applause], let freedom ring.
And when this happens [applause] (Let it ring, Let it ring), and when we allow freedom ring (Let it ring), when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city (Yes Lord), we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children (Yeah), black men (Yeah) and white men (Yeah), Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics (Yes), will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! (Yes) Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” [enthusiastic applause]
MLKEC-INP, Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate Collection, In Private Hands
Y’all – please don’t give up hope on America. This is our country. #resist
The Texas A&M Corp of Cadets Final Review from last year. It’s not a small gathering and this year’s review is coming up next weekend. Proud of these young men and women.
“Return to Base” – remembering my Dad on his Birthday and wishing he was still with us. Without family you have no courage. I am blessed to have love and support on both sides of my family, unconditionally, which is perhaps the greatest gift of all.
Happy Birthday Dad. You are still very much loved and very much missed, but as a kid from Bridgeport who achieved the dreams of 1000 Romans, there is no question you lived life to it’s fullest. I love you for teaching me that and so much more (much of which I can’t put in a blog post.)
You’re loyalty to God, to Country and to the Family was completely unshakeable. Even when they gave the call to “return to base” for the very last time. Love you Dad. And Happy Birthday.
The Four Way Cross Maneuver by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. Some things at Texas A&M are just unique. Yet for all of our talk of tradition, few schools or companies I have ever encountered embrace the speed of change in today’s world than Texas A&M.
In the newly rebuilt Kyle Field at Texas A&M University!
A panorama of the new field completed for our final home game of 2015.
The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
The new stadium is spectacular!
Aggieland is completely different from the 1990s. Aggieland is exactly the same as it was in the 1990s. Just completely different, core values and leadership focus in tact. Gig’em.
The burden of communication is on the communicator; not the recipient.
Therefore proper email communication and email etiquette is for YOU to use
- Use active and strong subject lines – be exact
- Link to exact content or web pages – nobody has time to google it
- use numbered lists – numbered lists in email define priority
- limit use of bulleted lists – bulleted lists in email are for the lazy communicator
Further, try to use reasonably short paragraphs. Use these guidelines on how to write a decent email that might actually produce results.
- Email Subject Lines – all emails need a well articulated and relevant Subject Line.
- Examples of good email subject lines:
- Client X going live on Tuesday July 29 before Friday Board Meeting
- Training help file on email etiquette posted on eschipul.com
- “Feast with the Beast” Presale Facebook AD text (sent to the zoo)
- Bad subject lines torture your coworkers with anxiety which lowers morale and greatly reduces profitability.
- Every time an email is sent with a bad subject line, a baby seal dies. This is sad. Save the baby seals! Use good subject lines!
- Examples of good email subject lines:
- Links to the EXACT content or subject because ease of use changes behavior.
- Ease of use changes behavior. Without links people will NOT click through to see the work that has been done.
- It is rare that an email goes out that is truly not about SOMETHING that should be linked. Yes exceptions occur, but they are rare exceptions. Link to what you are talking about. Or don’t waste other people’s time if you are just that lazy.
- Think about it. It is not your coworker’s responsibility to overcome your unwillingness to copy/paste a link from a site you are probably looking at when you sent the email!
- Every time an email is sent without relevant and specific links, a baby seal dies. This is sad. Save the baby seals! Use links!
- Numbered Lists – organize your information.
- Bulleted lists suck – bullets are fundamentally evil because they do NOT convey priority by the sender (YOU!). Yet the recipient invariably starts at the top assuming this is in fact the top priority.
- Numbered lists with priority 1 being first – The value of forcing yourself to use numbered lists is that the sender (you) must organize your thoughts before confusing everyone else. It has been my experience that most people do not “order” bulleted lists but numbering makes them think about it.
- Raise your hand if you like numbered lists! Now raise your other hand so things balance out. Or to put it another way – be kind to people who need this structure. It benefits you if people understand your message. Embrace diversity including “diversity of types of thinkers.” Structure and prioritize your content in email communication, or really any communication.
- Use Short Paragraphs – with rare exceptions
- Shorter paragraphs with strong subject sentences greatly increase reading comprehension.
- Speed readers tend to read the first sentence of a paragraph and use that to make a decision if they should bother reading the rest. Shorter paragraphs means more of your message is consumed regardless.
- They force you to organize your thoughts before wasting everyone else’s time!
- Don’t use Nickel words – save them for scrabble
- To repeat – the burden of communication is on the communicator, including in email, not the recipient. While it is possible to write in tongues, this needlessly reduces comprehension.
- But don’t oversimplify an email as that just make it more confusing. Just make it as simple as possible and no simpler.
- If you must use an idiosyncratic word – well – LINK IT!
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Or to put it another way, via Dune-Micheli Patten, A parable by an Unknown Author:
There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.
One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.
“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.
So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.
The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.
Every year at SXSW I feel a little older. It doesn’t help that right before SXSW 2015, where it was my privilege to be a speaker for the third time at the Interactive festival, that twitter sent me a notice congratulating me on being on twitter for 8 years.
8 years on twitter. At least I don’t post photos of every piece of sushi I eat. Although I almost posted a photo of the biscuits-and-gravy I ate this morning. (Shut it – it’s called “carb’ing up” for tennis tomorrow.) Anyway it’s all a blur although I know I can blame Erica O’Grady for getting me on twitter for sure.
But the iphone. It was 2007. Kool Aid? Check. And well….. In Adam Tow’s photo I’m the guy with the brown shirt and arm raised on the left hand side at the back. Yup that’s me. I haven’t always had a beard.
When I heard about iphone dev camp, by rss feed of course, I was on an airplane. My first iphone was purchased by proxy by a great friend named Imelda who was willing to get me one on the first day given I was flying someplace else on the day they were released. We registered on a wiki because what could go wrong, right?
In the end there I was at iphone dev camp 1 when apple didn’t even have an SDK yet. But I was there in San Francisco in 2007. Right after Adam took his photo I had to run around and take my own photo to post to my flickr set from iphone dev camp 2007.
When I got back to Houston I had a bunch of new friends and wound up presenting at Netsquared Houston on the iphone and the good the bad and the ugly. I’ve left the iphone, come back, left again, came back again and right now I really enjoy the camera on my iphone 6. In 2007 this was my presentation on the iphone at netsquared.
At SXSW this year I saw a lot of these folks, but not enough. It’s a marathon and not a race. Now I’m more excited about hexacopters, remote work environments, how best to give people meaningful work, create a great product, and keep our clients not just happy but evangelists. A lot has changed.
There are too many names to even begin to give credit to for these adventures and the fact that they have resulted in tangible benefits that went right back to our employees in profit sharing and training and benefits over the last 17 years since I started the company in 1997. Yet “I” didn’t start the company, I jumped off the cliff and my family and friends were like “well look what the hell he did now? Guess we gotta help him till he comes around.” And they did.
Then. And now. Here is a humble thank you to those who keep us alive, pick us up when we fall, put up with us working three days straight without sleep when we get in the zone. And still love us.
Here’s to the ones who love and care for the crazy ones, because we are nothing without you. And I say that with the utmost humility. I am no Steve Jobs. I am not Rosa Parks. I’m a person who is terrified yet at the same time resolutely certain of the outcome.
“Remembering you are going to die, is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You re already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
“Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.”
Thank you. And thank you Steve for the inspiration….
Frank – I never bested you at tennis. Because you were damn good. And funny. And you helped me learn the game with few words, always a quiet one. You rarely spoke even as partners. Occassionally you ran for a lob to throw us off. But more frequently your offense prevented anyone from hitting a lob in the first place. But you know that. Strategy. Quiet strategy. We noticed. I noticed.
You offered no help as an opponent with your surprisingly fast net play, sly grin. I still learned. Even on the other side of the net I still learned from you. I never told you, nobody need tell you, you know. There are many like me who respect the quiet strong ones. Like you. #respect
May God bless you and your family Frank. God Bless. #peace
From the Houston Chronicle on Frank John Vilece:
Frank John Vilece of Houston, TX, passed away on December 24, 2012. He was surrounded by his three loving children, Kathryn, Frank Jr., and Michael, down to his final breath.
Born in New York, New York on February 10, 1944, and raised in Greenwich Village, Frank graduated from Xavier High School, and then Steven’s Institute of Technology in 1965. Growing up his family spent summers in Lake Carmel. In 1971 he married his late wife, Gail Mansfield Vilece and eventually moved west to start and raise a family and build his career. Frank was a brilliant man who spent his entire career as a mechanical engineer. He took great pride in his ability to create energy and power. With his wealth of knowledge he was able to tackle the most sophisticated engineering project, yet he was humble enough to teach anyone willing to learn his passions.
His greatest accomplishments and joy in life were his three children. He did everything he could to make sure his children were given all the tools they needed to be successful and enjoyed hearing about their many adventures. Frank loved staying active and had a life-long love of learning. Much of his free time was spent on the tennis court. Following tennis events on TV, in person, or playing in leagues around Houston, exhilarated Frank.
Frank is survived by his children Kathryn Vilece, Frank Vilece Jr., and Michael Vilece, as well as his sister Alice Battle and brother Vic Vilece, in addition to numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A Mass will be held for Frank at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 625 Nottingham Oaks Trail in Houston, on Friday December 28, 2012, at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Frank Vilece’s name to either the American Cancer Society or Vitas Hospice Charitable Fund.
What impressed me wasn’t so much the U.S. Open Trophy in a niche in a side hallway., his intense workouts at a threadbare high school track or his no-nonsense practice sessions on a humble court carved out of a hillside. Rather, what touched me was how he cared, how he sweated the make-or-break details of his grassroots foundation and how he listened and lent support to his young wife who was then struggling in Hollywood.
The kid who was once half-boy and half-wizard was now caring, thoughtful, giving. Ultimately, Roddick was America’s warrior, a ferocious battler whose intensity sucked up all the oxygen in the room. You felt it in row Z.
Now it is hard to imagine the American game without our leader. But there is no choice. Like one of his 144 mph servers down the T. Austin Andy announced his retirement with speed and certainty – and all of a sudden, the American men’s game seems a bit of a blur.
Our wizard has vanished.
– Bill Simons, The Man Who Chased Geniuses, Inside Tennis, Nov/Dec 2012
“Ching Shih assembled and ran one of the most formidable pirate armadas the world has ever seen. Her forces wreaked havoc not only among the merchant shipping population, but were also incredibly successful at going toe-to-toe with the Chinese Navy in large-scale sea battles. She was tough, well-respected, had a formidable code of honor, and was militarily and tactically superior to a number of Chinese and European naval commanders. And best of all, she was able to get away with everything, keep all of her loot and avoid suffering the indignity of a death by hanging.” – (via @AnonChingShih)
“To understand more clearly what is meant by judgement, imagine a singles match being played by Mr. A and Mr. B, with Mr. C acting as the umpire. Mr. A is serving his second serve to Mr. B on the first point of a tie-breaker. The ball lands wide, and Mr. C calls, “Out. double fault.” Seeing his serve land out and hearing, “double fault,”
Mr. A frowns, says something demeaning about himself, and calls the serve “terrible.”
Seeing the same stroke, Mr. B. judges it as “good” and smiles.
The umpire neither frowns nor smiles; he simply calls the ball as he sees it.”
– W. Timothy Gallwey, “The Inner Game of Tennis”
Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal. – Robert Heinlein
Leadership, I frequently say, is about “making good decisions with limited information.” Not perfect decisions. But good decisions. You don’t have a choice in business: move quickly or die. And unlike CEOs on Wall Street, the small business CEO’s worst nightmare is to fail their employees and customers. I am not afraid of risk or failure as an individual, but I do have obligations and those must be met and that requires leadership during trying times.
There are three major factors that make leadership decisions difficult:
- Speed – you must make a decision and you never have enough information.
- Pressure – the pressure to make the right call, and make it now, is intense.
- Commitment – even if only 51% sure about a decision, commit 100%.
I suspect politicians face the same deadly triad when making decisions. And worse than letting their employees and family down, politicians risk being pilloried in the media, dragged through the hot coals of a PR disaster, and destroying the empire! Why anyone would want to be a politician is beyond me.
So it was with some relief this weekend when I read the letter to the editor in the Houston Chronicle by Charles Hamilton of Spring Texas titled “Thinking Men Think.” It was like someone with common sense finally stepped into the room. From his letter:
Regarding “Let’s give Romney time to sort out his positions” (Page B9, Friday), Gail Collins inaccurately notes a presidential nonqualifying trait in Mitt Romney‘s “not giving a fig” about undocumented workers clipping his lawn.
Non-objectively, she does not compare Obama’s many flip-flops (e.g., closing Guantanamo) with Mitt’s (e.g., abortion)…
Thinking men think. Man’s judgment of other men’s motives is often flawed.
Politician’s disparage each other to get elected because we the electorate remember bad stuff better. Witness the oft quoted and paraphrased “you get 10 bad reviews from an angry customer versus 1 recommendation from a happy customer.” Witness “if it bleeds it leads.” Witness Perez Hilton, the Drudge Report, etc… WE have trained the media and the politicians to feed us disparaging remarks about each other.
And the worst of those sound-byte-disparagements is she “s/he flip-floped on issue _____.” What does that mean in poli-parlance? It is slang for “the politician changed their position” with an implied “you can’t trust them.”
flip-flopping,” by the media, is consistent with the actions of a rational human being. Feel free to ponder “what” changed. Be it pandering to the left or right. But SOMETHING changed in the politician’s world-view to have them logically take a new position. The broad definition of flip-flopper can be painted on President Obama as well as on candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. And how does this help move us forward? It doesn’t.
Look, we all benefit from a healthy Presidential Election. Let’s talk about the issues in the primary and in the general election. But if you hear someone say “he is a flip-flopper” the person who is speaking is not thinking with acuity. Don’t we deserve a leader smart enough to move with the cheese?
As Charles’ said – “Thinking men think.” And thank God for that!
From the article:
The first dreams we ever had were to be held. And loved. And to explore this amazing world with love in our lives.
We dreamed of seeing, touching, and experiencing the world around us, with the happiness and comfort that comes from family.
As adults, many of us dream of building a family, and do so.
It’s the day-to-day realities that don’t always feel so dreamy. We get busy, exhausted, and overwhelmed. We’re changing diapers, cleaning up spills, searching for a jolt of caffeine to keep our eyes propped open until we can fall face first into a pillow.
Along the way, we sometimes see some work dreams take a back seat. We worry they may slip away, that we may never get back to them.
There are tough tradeoffs that moms and dads have to make every day. But since my son’s birth, I’ve stopped seeing those tradeoffs as sacrifice.
Because when we give up something for a time to make sure we’re putting enough focus into our families, we’re not giving up dreams. We’re committing to our biggest, deepest ones.
We’re prioritizing the dreams that make up who we are.
Monica, in her usual fashion, takes over completely, leaving Phoebe in charge of only cups and ice. Phoebe decides to make the most of it; she makes everything imaginable out of cups, and serves every kind of ice.
So the next time Monica gives you cups and ice, just ask yourself, what would Phoebe do, and do that. It’s the hard way out. But worth it.
(Note: video added and minor edits Jan 18, 2016 while writing this post about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – EGS)