Showing posts from May, 2019

Notes on "Winning" by Jack Welch

I taught seven students yesterday morning, then I watched the movie "The Professor" starring Johnny Depp, I went for a couple hour motorcycle ride, took a nap, wrote a political article including a resolution of support, wrote an article with a poem, and read a chapter from Anne Rice's "Sleeping Beauty". Somewhere in there I also skimmed through Jack Welch's entire book "Winning".

Jack Welch was the CEO of GE for many years. He worked his way up through the company. So, his skillset is not starting companies, or running small companies, it's how to operate in large companies. I wrote down exactly 42 words of notes as I was going through it. (42 is also the answer to the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", it's serendipitous that the numbers align here.)

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cut your losses
give credit

I Rode a Motorcycle Today, and I was Reborn

My cousin April let me take her motorcycle for a couple hour test ride today as an experiment to see if my spinal deformities would allow me such an endeavor. The occasion seems to call for a poem.

I think this might come out as some sort of fairy-tale mixed with "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Tennyson. My point is, it might get crazy. Maybe there will be a little influence from the song "American Pie". Alright, I have no idea what's going to happen.

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Through the woods and across the township line,
toward grandmother's house he rolled,
past a humble abode,
rode the one-hundred less than one-hundred and one.

North by west,
across the flowing waters and above the single person ships,
past the tree unsold,
rode the one-hundred less than one-hundred and one.

By the graves of the dead,
and the graves of the dying,
and the graves of the living,
rode the one-hundred less than one-hundred and one.

To the water's edge,
southward diversion,

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 3 of ?

The actions that Dalton Township officials have taken against local farms, such as Hidden Creek Farm, that involve intimidation and lying are ethical and legal breaches of conduct that violate the trust of the citizens and the duties of office. The only people that can truly correct a situation like this are the citizens of Dalton Township. They must choose to act, they must decide to make a change. But, that doesn't mean there aren't others that are willing and able to help.

I loathe the politicians that seek to tear the will of the people apart. That seek to divide them into political camps for their own ends. That seek to manipulate every event to their own devices.

For instance, the day after state representative Greg VanWoerkom issued a release stating that he was looking into the Hidden Creek Farm case to make sure that they are being treated fairly, the person that he defeated for that position, Tanya Cabala, started trolling the online posts about the grassroots moveme…

Explorations in Business - Part 5 of ?

Challenges. In life you choose challenges, or they will be chosen for you. I may have made some significant strategic errors in life recently.

I had a writing group scheduled for today. It was what I was looking forward to most. It was canceled. If I really pursue leading writing groups for homeschoolers as an avenue of revenue I wonder how often that would happen? I don't really feel like taking the initiative to drive the process forward at the moment, although I've had interest from at least three other mothers.

The illustrator that I'm writing the comic book with is having health issues. I don't know what's happening with that project. I have to have the initiative for this project, and I'm not feeling it right now.

I only have two students to teach this morning. Which is not enough to make enough money for me to live. I also had to cancel classes with the very first student I ever had, from a few years ago, Parker. Everything was great. I had Parker above …

Ideas from the Last Few Months - Part 2 of ?

Here we go again. I just might complete the list in this post.

What if I included an entire public domain book inside of my book? I could do a frame story. A parent reading a book to a child maybe. Maybe a teacher or author reading a book to a group of students. Discussion of the book would be included. The book within the book could be fiction or non-fiction. Ooh, I like this idea. The bedtime story frame would work. Also, R. L. Stine, the horror book author, likes to do readings of his books at libraries for kids, so there's precedent for it.

DARPA has developed a psychopath hat. When you put it on it sends electrical signals through your brain and turns you into a temporary psychopath. It's based on the work of Chi and Snyder on brain stimulation. I heard about it from psychologist John Vervaeke. It's made for soldiers, obviously. It just sounds like something Philip K. Dick would write about in a dystopic science fiction story, but it's real.

Could I make happy tra…

Ideas from the Last Few Months - Part 1 of ?

Ideas for narratives are always coming to me. Stories are the underlying structure of our psychologies and our societies. Sometimes I write these ideas down. Here are a few. (Get ready, it will seem fast and chaotic.)

I like the idea of human clay. I like the Creed songs about human clay, I like the myth of the golem formed from clay as presented in Terry Pratchett's book series "Discworld", I like the story of Prometheus forming man from clay. I think it could be tied into the Adam, Eve, and Lilith story too. I like when they used the idea in the tv show "Warehouse 13". It just seems like more could be done with it.

I like the idea of the sands of time. What if there was an epic quest or battle for the sands of time, but then the sands of time did nothing? That happens with goals and attainments a lot, they are hard to achieve and then they're a let down once achieved. I had that experience with mountain climbing years ago. Now, I always have some value th…

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 2 of ?

The citizens of Dalton Township are afraid to speak out against the corruption in our local government because they are scared of the repercussions. They are afraid that the township officials will target them. They are afraid that if the township can ruin their neighbor's life then they can ruin their life too. And, they're right.

When you are made to be aware of government corruption because it has encroached upon your life and your community it is okay to be afraid of reprisals. In that situation, it is the responsibility of the citizens to make corrections in the government. And it is not that we need to eliminate the fear to act, it is that we must have the necessary courage to overcome those fears.

The tactics employed by the township, led by supervisor Tony Barnes, are bully tactics.

For instance, in the street a bully might trip someone and push them to the ground. Then they'll say sorry and go to help the person up. The victim wasn't looking for a fight. Maybe…

Explorations in Business - Part 4 of ?

Life. Life is a crazy and complex endeavor.

I've bogged down on the business. There are a few reasons.

One, I'm already doing a ton of other things, and then my township decided that they wanted to try to shut down the farm that I get goat milk from, so I decided to take up that fight on top of everything else. Here's an article on that:

Two, my first foray fell flat. I had about a dozen people look at the video on my website: Three people filled in part of the survey. One person left their contact info, and then they didn't respond when I contacted them. I was hoping to at least talk to one person through that process and then take the next step. It was a little disheartening. But alas, that's not the way the cookie crumbled.

But I don't think those are the really real reasons. When that first foray failed it wasn't the disheartening aspect that ga…

Un-Birthday Presents

I've found the normal method of giving gifts on birthdays and holidays to be boring. Oddly enough, I just found out today that Humpty Dumpty thought the same thing.

I'm reading "Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll with one of my students, Carrie. It's the sequel to "Alice in Wonderland". Today we read a section where Humpty Dumpty is explaining the concept of un-birthday presents to Alice.

I've thought the same thing for years. Everyone is both expecting and already getting gifts on their birthday and on holidays. What's better is to give them one at some other time, when it's more interesting to receive something you aren't expecting. Here's part of the conversation between Humpty Dumpty and Alice.

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‘It’s a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It’s a present from the White King and Queen. There now!’

‘Is it really?’ said Alice, quite pleased to find that she had chosen a good subject, after all.


Understanding Grief

I gave a speech last night at the Red Lotus Art Gallery in Muskegon, Michigan. It's an area that I've been working on for most of my life now, "Understanding Grief".

Here are three places that you can watch the speech:

Most of the world

Russia and a few other places


I'm working on becoming better at communicating the concepts that I've originated in this area. The process necessary to reach a new understanding in a subject for yourself is different than the process necessary to communicate those same ideas to someone else.

I talked about grief in my series of philosophy essays titled "The Most Important Question in Philosophy". It was well received. I wrote an article titled "Aphorisms on Grief, Suicide, and Meaning in Life". It was not well received, specifically be…

Three Meanings Behind Intelligent

The word intelligent is used in three basic ways. It makes sense because these things are related, but it also causes some problems because they aren't the same. By understanding the different ways intelligent is used we might be able to understand some oddities, like intelligent people doing dumb things.

The first way that intelligent (or smart) is used is to mean fluid IQ. Fluid IQ is how good you are at recognizing patterns. That's why some IQ tests show pictures with various patterns and you are asked to complete the pattern. It's your ability to learn in the present.

The second way that intelligent is used is to mean concrete IQ. Concrete IQ is how you have used your pattern recognition abilities over your lifetime to identify different patterns in the world. It's the amount of knowledge you've accumulated. Essentially, this is every test you have ever taken. These IQ tests look like your college, university, or graduate school entrance exams. It's what yo…

Ambitions 2

I've recently tried to formulate and articulate exactly what my ambitions in life are. When I was young I had a unique view of how life should be lived. I wrote an article on it called "Living in Reverse". That worked in many ways, but now I want to transition from collecting experiences to building something. I'm not sure what that looks like, but I'm working on gaining clarity.

In the first "Ambitions" article I laid out the ideas I have about my three key areas in life: business, art, and philosophy. Here is what those look like, then I will attempt to dive into three other key areas that are important supports for the big three.

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Art ambition - remake the literary hero as non-reactionary, change how and why people value literature (an experimental and playful hyperreality for the development of enhanced behavioral patterns, our lives are narratives), make the implicit explicit for all (write on writing while writing), include essays exp…

I Went to a Writing Group Today - May 22nd, 2019

A couple of weeks ago I missed the Left to Write meeting. The next day my friend Jon emailed me and asked if I was going to come to the next one. I was sad when I realize that I had missed the meeting, I had simply forgotten to write it on my schedule. I think I made up for it today.

The meeting was at capacity today with 13 people in attendance. When I walked in I thought the entire table was already full because the only open seats had books in front of them. But, those seats were open. The book was the prompt; dun, dun, dunnn.

I sat down and looked at my book, "Ooh, 'The Law of Love' by Nora Roberts, one of my favorites." I'm joking. I can't remember what I said exactly, but I did mention that it was not a book that I would normally pick to read. I had the option to change of course, but I didn't want to.

Now, I've tried to read romances. I've tried quite a variety over the years. I've tried the classics by the Bronte sisters and Jane Auste…

Leading a Writing Group - Session 1

It's an odd story, how I came to be part of a writing group yesterday.

I went to the Muskegon Comic Con event in the spring. It was fun. I walked into the game room and was greeted by a perky woman named Holly. She convinced me to join a one-off Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. It's an activity that has always seemed fun, but I've never found the time to participate in that world.

I invited a few people and a couple of kids joined in. Yuke led our session while also managing the gaming sales table. It was a grand adventure that took us deep into a cave looking for buried treasure. Three of the five people came out alive. One girl was able to snatch some of the gold from us, but Xavier and I were able to get most of it. Xavier turned out to be Holly's son.

While talking to Holly after the game she mentioned that she runs a homeschool group that uses the Muskegon Fab Lab, where people can work with 3-D printers, laser etching, virtual reality systems, and more. I …

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