Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pointless exercises. Sounds just like me.

I realised that I am taken with doing pointless exercises.

In high school while the class was trying to learn how to do something I worked out days before, I would build word puzzles or draw pictures of fighter jets or geometric shapes.

All were pointless and all ended up in scrap.

But there's a beautiful symmetry to that, like doing a sand sculpture, or even an ice sculpture.

So much of what I do these days ends up being ultimately a pointless exercise. I build courses and create huge levels of student satisfaction for a school in a university that doesn't seem to care about me. I write protocols which are excellent and then somebody else takes the credit for them. I write A journal publications that get published in the year after I get sacked.

I become really good at falling out of a plane in a way that nobody really understands or cares about.

But I think they really suits me. Because I am taken with doing pointless exercises.

And I think that's just me.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Where medals are a minor achievement

I won a couple of silver medals last weekend. Novice two way with the marvellous Leah and four way with Danny, Zac and Thomas.

It was very nice to get the DZ Chief Instructor recognition of teamwork / mentor. Very nice, especially from him. But the verbal recognition is only half of it.

I heard it first from Japanese teachings that the good things that other people say about you are a hundred times more valuable than your own statements. Aussies sometimes say that "self praise is no recommendation".

I've always thought​ that when a person calls themself a leader or a mentor they are often a million miles away​ from it. It's for other people to make that judgement.

Or the facts.

And I take pride in the fact that I took 7 people to a camp last week. We learnt some stuff about bodyflying and 4way, and close to swept the state pool in flatfly. In no way am I conceited - I got two second place, and my first ever AFF student doubled my score in two way.

I will never leave the sky, and I will always be "just good enough" but I have loved this week. And the icing on the cake come from the way that two of the women from the camp freebuilt the base on an eight way state women's record effort.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Don't keep business cards of people who don't deserve your time

Not by choice but by Affliction I am a collector of business cards. I wear a dress jacket sometimes and every now we can they turn up in an inside pocket. People on me to push a business card into my hand - perhaps they impressed me at the time, maybe they didn't.

But one things for sure. No business card that I've collected over the last 30 years of schlepping around town deserves to sit in the same pocket as the funeral card of a great friend of mine.

Will fought cancer for about 12 months and he was gone a few weeks ago. I will never again hear that quiet wisdom or delight in that wicked sense of humour.

And I think that you should spend no amount of time sitting in a place where things are wrong for you.

And although I really only saw him twice a year, I miss my friend.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Academic tourism

It's not a joke. A "CFP" is acadmic talk for a "call for papers" - you know, where you write an article for a peer-reviewed​ conference in Paris, New York or Murcia, and the people you work for send you there?

Strangely, I don't miss it.

How do you sell $20 burgers?

Just a bit of everything. A captive audience - LAX - a good product and a whole heap of chutzpah.

I think I just heard a customer leave calling it "Umami Burglar".

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Scammers at the airport gas stations

"Scammers" is a bad word, and I truly don't think of myself as a better person. But I do get a little nervous when approached.

"Wash your widows?", "Got some change?" And a really elaborate one last year "I'm out of gas and I just need a gallon or so to get back home what do you say?".

I don't think it's a complete coincidence that these are the two gas stations that I just around the corner from the rental car depots. I've been to a lot of places in the US and not had much of this sort of approach but this is where the tourists are, right?